UPDATE: Wednesday, January 26 — Disney released a statement responding to Dinklage. “To avoid reinforcing stereotypes from the original animated film, we are taking a different approach with these seven characters and have been consulting with members of the dwarfism community. We look forward to sharing more as the film heads into production after a lengthy development period,” a spokesperson said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
Original story: Speaking his mind. Peter Dinklage shared his thoughts on Disney’s live-action adaptation of Snow White — and he didn’t mince words.
“Literally no offense to anyone, but I was a little taken aback when they were very proud to cast a Latina actress as Snow White, but you’re still telling the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” the Game of Thrones veteran, 52, said during the Monday, January 24, episode of the “WTF With Marc Maron” podcast. “Take a step back and look at what you’re doing there. It makes no sense to me.”
The Cyrano star was referring to Disney’s upcoming remake of the 1937 animated film. Last year, Rachel Zegler landed the role of the titular princess alongside Gal Gadot as the Evil Queen. The movie, directed by Marc Webb, does not yet have a release date.
Dinklage took issue with the fact that the film’s full title seemingly indicates that it will still include the dwarfs. “You’re progressive in one way, but then you’re still making that f–king backwards story about seven dwarfs living in a cave together — what the f–k are you doing, man?” the Screen Actors Guild Award winner asked. “Have I done nothing to advance the cause from my soap box? I guess I’m not loud enough.”
The acclaimed actor has been outspoken about the depiction of dwarfs in popular culture over the years. Though he’s now most well known for playing Tyrion Lannister on Game of Thrones, he almost didn’t take the role because he was afraid it would play into the “really long beard and pointy shoes” stereotype often seen in fantasy.
“That is just what followed the fantasy genre for people my size,” he said during an appearance at the Telluride Film Festival in September 2021. “Why do we always have to follow that boring f–king formula of pointy shoes and a beard? Who invented that? Why are we still following that? We don’t need to. I said that to them.”
After he saw that creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss planned to take the character in a different direction, however, he decided to accept the part. He eventually won four Emmys, a Golden Globe and a SAG Award for his work on the show.
While accepting his Golden Globe in January 2012, he gave a shout-out to Martin Henderson, a dwarf who had recently suffered paralysis after an attack in England.
“It really made me sad,” Dinklage told The New York Times two months later, explaining why he mentioned Henderson in his speech. “Dwarves are still the butt of jokes. It’s one of the last bastions of acceptable prejudice. Not just by people who’ve had too much to drink in England and want to throw a person. But by media, everything.”
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