The actor called out Disney for its upcoming live-action adaptation of the dehumanizing fairytale.
Peter Dinklage isn’t sure why Disney hasn’t caught up yet. In a recent interview on comedian Marc Maron’s podcast, Dinklage called out the upcoming live-action remake of Snow White. The film, directed by Marc Webb, will star West Side Story breakout actress Rachel Zegler.
“There’s a lot of hypocrisy going on,” Dinklage said. “Literally no offense to anyone, but I was a little taken aback when they were very proud to cast a Latina actress as Snow White, but you’re still telling the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Take a step back and look at what you’re doing there. It makes no sense to me.”
The storybook tale, of course, features a supporting cast of the fairytale princess’s dwarf companions — characters that, while based in folklore, quite literally dehumanize real people such as Dinklage who are born with dwarfism.
“You’re progressive in one way but then you’re still making that fucking backwards story about seven dwarves living in a cave together,” Dinklage said. “What the fuck are you doing, man? Have I done nothing to advance the cause from my soapbox? I guess I’m not loud enough.”
Dinklage, a four-time Emmy Award winner, has made a career out of roles that buck against stereotypes or shallow depictions of those with dwarfism, including his iconic role in Game of Thrones and films like The Station Agent. Dinklage stars as the titular character in the upcoming Cyrano, a film adaptation of the classic play Cyrano de Bergerac that recently nabbed him a Golden Globe nomination.
"If you tell the story of Snow White with the most fucked up, cool, or progressive spin on it? Let's do it — all in,” he added in the interview.
Hours after Dinklage’s statement went viral, Disney issued an official response, indicating it would present a new imagining of the story’s titular seven dwarves. “To avoid reinforcing stereotypes from the original animated film, we are taking a different approach with these seven characters and have been consulting with members of the dwarfism community,” a Disney spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter. “We look forward to sharing more as the film heads into production after a lengthy development period.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney has been tinkering with a new way to approach the dwarf characters since the “earliest stages” of the film’s development over the last three years. The statement, though, did not divulge any more information as to how exactly and to what extent Disney will deviate from the original depiction.
This story has been updated to include Disney’s response to Dinklage’s statement.