Last month, Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage called out Disney for its decisions in tackling a remake of its 1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Dinklage, who has a form of dwarfism called achondroplasia, which affects bone growth, criticized Disney for continuing to perpetuate stereotypes by keeping dwarfs in the Snow White remake, despite the company’s attempts at championing diversity by casting a non-white actress as the beautiful princess.
“No offense to anything but I was a little taken aback by [the fact] they were very proud to cast a Latino actress as Snow White, but you’re still telling the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves,” Dinklage explained during a podcast with Marc Maron. “They were so proud of that, and all love and respect to the actress and the people who thought they were doing the right thing, but I’m just like, ‘what are you doing?’ Take a step back and look at what you’re doing there. It makes no sense to me.”
Dinklage took issue with Disney for touting diversity in casting Rachel Zegler, a Latina actress, as Snow White, but keeping dwarfs in the film, which Dinklage says can continue stereotypes that are harmful to people with dwarfism.
But this week, another actor with dwarfism is calling out Dinklage for his comments. Dylan Postl played Hornswoggle the leprechaun in WWE for 10 years and has acted with The Muppets as well. Postl says that Dinklage’s comments will take away from other actors who have dwarfism.
“With what Dinklage said and his comments, he’s taking dream roles away that were made and set in stone for seven dwarf actors–actors that dream of being in a Disney film,” Postl explained on ITV’s This Morning.
Speaking about Dinklage, Postl said, “By being progressive in his mind and what he was trying to do and says he is trying to do, [he’s] really doing the opposite and taking dreams away and potential roles from seven dwarf actors; I think it’s a shame.”
Postl’s comments come after Disney’s response to Dinklage’s criticism. According to MovieWeb.com, Disney won’t be using dwarfs in the upcoming remake at all.
“Instead of dwarfs, Disney will fill the void with a group of what they describe as ‘magical creatures’, according to casting sheets that TheWrap has seen. (They are currently looking for voice actors to give these creatures personality.) It’s unclear if they will inhabit the same roles as the [Seven] Dwarfs; will they be mining for jewels, will they have names like Sleepy, Grumpy, and Bashful–but these magical creatures will be the substitutes for the original seven dwarfs.”
Postl feels that those seven roles could have been given to dwarf actors who want those roles; perhaps not everyone in the dwarfism community feels as Dinklage does. “It doesn’t make any sense to me that we are taking one person’s (Dinklage) voice for the whole community,” Postl explained.
U.K. bodybuilder, Choon Tan, who also has dwarfism, has taken issue with Dinklage’s comments as well.
“It can have a knock-on effect to other productions that are scared to employ people who are little and or who have dwarfism in fear of being attacked,” he explained.
Tan also pointed out that the dwarfs in the Snow White film are heroes, that they “are not made out to be anything less.”
Postl added to his argument, saying the roles in the Snow White remake could have been just right for him and members of the dwarfism community.
“‘This is a role made for me and our community, for the first time ever,” he explained. “I can’t be Superman, or Spider-Man or Captain America. I can be one of the seven dwarfs.”