Disney has responded to accusations that it darkened the skins of white actors for the upcoming live-action adaptation of Aladdin, confirming reports that it used brownface in the process.
"Great care was taken to put together one of the largest most diverse casts ever seen on screen," Disney said in a statement. "Diversity of our cast and background performers was a requirement and only in a handful of instances when it was a matter of specialty skills, safety and control (special effects rigs, stunt performers and handling of animals) were crew made up to blend in."
A report from the Sunday Times alleging that Disney used makeup to darken the skins of white actors in order to fill a number of background roles appeared last Sunday, prompting backlash against the House of Mouse.
Aladdin will follow an incredibly successful stint of Disney live-action remakes that includes Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book, Alice in Wonderland and more. Dan Lin, a producer on the film, previously promised that the adaptation would not engage in "whitewashing."
The live-action Aladdin was originally expected to begin a six-month shoot in July, however, casting delays appear to have altered the schedule. With the leads now set, filming should begin relatively soon. The project does not yet have a release date.