In the film “Snow White and the Huntsman” — an adult twist on the Snow White and the Seven Dwarves fairy tale — dwarves are an integral part of the film, but the actors playing them were actually “full-size.” For this reason, the Little People of America and dwarf actors are protesting the film, even threatening a “100-Midget March.”
Danny Woodburn, an actor whom you may recognize from Seinfeld, even told the New York Post “this is akin to black face,” which was when white people would paint their faces black to portray black individuals.
According to the Post, eight full-size actors were cast in the film instead of dwarf actors. The Little People of America, according to TMZ, has issued a statement saying certain characters in the film were “specifically written to be played by little people … and other roles that would be open to people of short stature.”
The Post went on to report Wooburn as saying he wouldn’t have a problem with the way the film was cast if “they were casting little people as the doctor on ‘ER’ or the lawyer on ‘The Good Wife.'”
To modify taller actors into a dwarf role, the Post writes their faces were digitally imposed onto smaller bodies and their voices altered.
Here’s what a casting representative for the film told the Post about the decision:
“It was a casting decision, not a body-type decision,” a rep for “Huntsman’s” Universal Pictures.
“They [actors in the dwarf roles] came with pedigrees and recognizability.”
The actors actually playing the dwarves, despite being full-size in reality, are Nick Frost, Ray Winstone and Ian McShane.
While Woodburn graciously says these men are “fabulous actors” to the Post, he concedes that the manipulation of the content for the sake of “creative license” doesn’t “sit well” with him. Other actors are not so mild about it though. TMZ reports 4’1” Matt McCarthy saying he is organizing a 100-midget march to Universal Studios in protest. McCarthy also made the “black face” comparison saying this decision by the film “is the equivalent of Universal casting a white actor to play a role written for an African-American person and digitally changing the color of their skin.”
What are your thoughts? Should Universal have reserved the roles for shorter actors? Share your thoughts in the comments.
The date for the march is still forthcoming.
If you haven’t seen Snow White and the Huntsman yet, here’s the trailer: