Aladdin's Whitewashing Could Seriously Damage Its Box Office

Aladdin's Whitewashing Could Seriously Damage Its Box Office

With several massive successes already in the bank, Disney is continuing to re-make its classic animated films in live-action, with Mulan hitting theaters in 2019, and Aladdin next on the slate for 2019 as well. It’s no surprise that Disney is continuing to churn out the hits, with fans adoring the combination of beautiful remakes and new twists on old favorites. What is surprising, however, is that Disney’s Aladdin has been plagued with controversy after controversy… all on the sensitive subject of race.

Despite reassurances from both director Guy Ritchie and producer Dan Lin that the upcoming movie will be ‘authentic’, ‘not like Prince of Persia’, ‘diverse‘, and will make a real commitment to honoring the culture depicted, decision after decision has raised the eyebrows of fans. Whitewashing has become a hugely talked-about topic in Hollywood over the past few years, and it seems that despite constant criticism of films that wipe out erase POC characters, change them, whitewash them, or even celebrate racist tropes or white saviors, the big studios are failing to figure out how to create a great, diverse movie without these problems arising. Even when the controversies hurt ratings or box office figures (as happened with Iron Fist, Ghost In The Shell, The Great Wall, and several others), questionable decisions keep being made

Now, Aladdin is at the center of yet another controversy on race, as the production is accused of putting extras in brownface, rather than hiring people who don’t need makeup to ‘blend in’ on the streets of Agrabah. As the furor around the production continues to grow, we wonder whether the constant scandals could be enough to hurt Aladdin‘s bottom line, or whether Disney will continue to find success despite the controversy.

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