Yara Shahidi's Black Tinkerbell Criticized as 'Lazy' Attempt at Diversity

Yara Shahidi's Black Tinkerbell Criticized as 'Lazy' Attempt at Diversity

Yara Shahidi's casting as Tinkerbell in Peter Pan & Wendy is causing a ton of controversy — but not in the way you'd expect.

The backlash started earlier this week after Disney released the official trailer for its upcoming live-action remake of Peter Pan, which stars the Black-ish actress as the iconic pixie sidekick. As expected though, her casting was met with the same racist pushback that Halle Bailey faced as The Little Mermaid, with bigots claiming that Tinker Bell was supposed to be white while complaining about "another Disney woke fiasco." That said, the studio's decision to go with Shahidi also ended up upsetting plenty of POC, most of whom took issue with Disney's pattern of simply recycling old material and giving it to non-white actors.

For the past several years, many have been calling on Hollywood to produce more diverse stories that feature better on-screen representations of POC. However, some believe the House of Mouse has gotten pretty "lazy" when it comes to these inclusivity efforts and that it's a telling sign of the studio's true priorities, which seem to still be geared towards white-centric productions.

"The reason studios make beloved characters black in the live action adaptations is so they don’t have to go to the trouble of actually giving special, brand new unique characters made from scratch to Black people," one critic tweeted. Meanwhile, a second commenter echoed this sentiment by saying that while there are a handful of films like The Princess and the Frog, it mostly seemed like Disney was opting "to just make white characters Black... to be like heey [sic] we are so accepting we support everyone."

"Disney couldn’t care less about making new stories with poc characters, they just put poc ppl to play white characters, and that shows 1) how lazy Disney is 2) how racist this is," as another person wrote. "it’s like they don’t think poc ppl deserve their own stories (beside like 3 animated movies?)."

Shahidi and Disney have yet to respond to the criticism.

Photo via Getty / Frazer Harrison