‘Lilo and Stitch’ Casting Takes Another Misstep With Its David

Machado as David

The upcoming live-action adaptation of Lilo and Stitch has announced its latest casting! This means the film has pretty much locked in the main human cast. We have our David! Newcomer Kahiau Machado will play the Hawaiian surfer and love interest of Lilo’s older sister Nani.

Disney’s recent campaign of animated classics turned live-action films are making headlines day after day for casting choices. The Little Mermaid reboot started it all when Halle Bailey was announced as the new Ariel in 2018. Disney+’s Peter Pan and Wendy got similar hate for casting people of color as Peter Pan and Tinker Bell.

Lilo and Stitch


The Lilo and Stich live-action transformation is barely off the ground and faces similar criticism. As soon as castings are announced, actors are immediately scrutinized. Will Kahiau Machado’s David survive whatever the backlash brings?

Right now, it seems that Machado is getting similar criticism as Sydney Agudong when it was announced that she would play Nani. People think Disney is whitewashing again. The internet also dug up some racially charged Spotify playlists under Machado’s account.

READ MORE This Iconic ‘Lilo and Stitch’ Character Was Just Kicked Out of the Live-Action Ohana



Actors and the Walt Disney Company alike should know by now that the internet is lightning fast. If there’s something to find, they’ll find it. Some people on the internet argue that the new cast doesn’t look “Pacific Islander enough” even though Agudong specifically has native Hawaiian ancestry and Machado is from Hawaii.

See what Twitter had to say:

the only good casting decision so far is the five year old

y’all gotta stop acting like they’re gonna cast someone who looks identical to the cartoon character. it’s a live action REMAKE

….dude is from Hawaii, where Lilo and Stitch is located and is athletic just like David(buddy was a volleyball player for U of Hawaii)…so what exactly is the problem here…?

what is going on with this casting 

This casting is missing a lot. I don’t get the eurocentricism they’re going with.

I think they should cancel this movie 

I’m sure Disney will doing nothing of the sort, but casting changes aren’t totally unheard of. Let’s wait and see how the production teams and The Walt Disney Company respond.

As far as the other Lilo and Stitch casting: newcomer Maia Kealoha will play 6-year-old live-action Lilo, and Zach Galifianakis is also signed on. The live-action remake will stream on Disney Plus at a future unknown date.

About Lana Porter

Lana has never lost a Disney Trivia night. Maybe it’s the hundreds of times she’s been to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, her love for Disney’s ’90’s era hand-animated musicals, or the fact that she’s often likened to cartoon characters, but Disney and its magic have a special place in her heart. Her favorite Disney experiences include the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival, eating Mickey Bars on the PeopleMover, and crying during the Magic Kingdom fireworks show. One day she hopes to be chosen as the rebel spy on Star Tours. When Lana isn’t Park Hopping, she’s at home reading books of all topics, watching her favs on Disney+, or snuggling her two cats, which she swears are not named after Disney characters. She loves surprising people with her knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but admits she is still catching up with Star Wars. She is happy to combine her excitement for writing with her love for Disney-style storytelling and share what she can with the world!