Gina Florio
March 13, 2017 12:52 pm
Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

As the countdown to the premiere of Beauty and the Beast dwindles away, we’re all getting more and more excited about the prospect of other classic Disney stories turning into live-action films. Last year it was announced that Disney was planning on a live-action Aladdin remake in the near future. Since then the whole world has been brainstorming which actors will be cast as Aladdin and Jasmine. One idea the Internet insists on is casting Zayn Malik as Aladdin.

However, as exciting as it would be to see our favorite former One Direction member carry on the Aladdin legacy, there’s a big problem with this idea. Aladdin is Middle Eastern. Zayn is not. And we’ve seen so much whitewashing and race-related controversy in Hollywood lately that we’re really gunning for Disney to get this casting right.

The Middle East consists of Saudi Arabia, Syria, Israel, Iraq, and Iran, among others. Pakistan, on the other hand, is a part South Asia. Folks took to Twitter to ask Hollywood not to think of people of color as “interchangeable.”

It’s unfortunate that people of color get grouped together in the same category so often, just because they look different than the majority of society. Hopefully Hollywood will take this into account and be smart about which casting choices they make for the live-action Aladdin movie.

Just because Zayn isn’t the ideal Aladdin, though, doesn’t mean he can’t participate in the Aladdin production and be featured on the soundtrack, right? We would really like to hear a Zayn Malik and Demi Lovato duet of “A Whole New World.” Just saying.

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