Naomi Scott picture image

Naomi Scott

Let’s just unpack this bit of casting news.  Recently Naomi Scott was cast as Princess Jasmine in the upcoming Live-Action Remake of Aladdin and some people are upset. Scott is half Indian and half British and Jasmine is Middle-Eastren which means for a lot of people that she isn’t White or Indian. The reason for her casting is that she can sing and dance. At least that is excuse given.

Karen David as Princess Jasmine in Once Upon A Time picture image

Karen David as Princess Jasmine in Once Upon A Time

It’s a hard one. Personally  I think Scott would have been better suited for Esmeralda, though I would rather see Gigi Radics in the role but this isn’t the first time Jasmine has played by a women of Indian Descent. In Once Upon a Time she was played by Karen David who can also sing and dance, watch Galavant, that show is awesome. One point people are making against Scott playing the role is that is was great chance by Disney to have a Middle Eastern woman in a prominent positive role. Another issue is that casting Scott looks like Disney doesn’t understand  that Middle Eastern culture  and Indian culture are different, even though some have defended Scott by saying there is overlap in the styling of Aladdin  like the palace look like the Taj Mahal and Raja’s name. Also at Disney World Aladdin character frequent the Moroccan pavilion at Epcot. Disney has aways mixed vaguely similar cultures.  I mean Agrabah  is a combination of Arga  and Baghdad, which is where Aladdin was originally supposed to be sets. Agra is an Indian city in Uttar Pradesh where the Taj Mahal is located.

Princess Jasmine, Aladdin picture Imade

Princess Jasmine

Oh, boy am I generalizing today but a lot people feel that everyone should play any role and some feel that if you whitewash you have  to cast everything like in voice acting in accordance with a character’s race and background and it just a can worms. First off Whitewashing is a BIG issue. If a character is a specific race and if it’s important to their character and setting than YES cast someone who fits the mold. I had no idea that years ago bitch about Chinese women playing Japanese women in Memoirs of a Geisha that should have been grateful they were at least East Asians. I did here people complaining about black people in the new Beauty and the Beast movie as historical inaccurate. Forget about the implications of a forgoten Prince hanging out after I guess the Revolution, it’s the race of few minor characters that irked some people.

Mena Massoud picture image

Mena Massoud

Disney is in a unique position with its remake movies, they don’t need bankable actors. Sure, they help but people are going to see these movies more for nostalgia than the actors.  So far with Aladdin, Aladdin is being played by Egyptian- Canadian actor Mena Massoud and Will Smith playing the Genie. If there reason for casting Scott was predicated on Singing and Dancing made they either rethink making these remake musicals or they could considering dubbing.

Naomi Scott picture image

Naomi Scott

I think if Disney had expanded their search or at least rethought the singing necessity there might have been a better Jasmine. Scott might do fine in the role but I can understand both side of the argument of her casting. It seemed like filmmakers gave up trying to cast the role and settled for some who nearly had the right ethnic background.

Or maybe the film will make Agrabah a reverse Mughal-equse regime where the ruling and noble class are of Indian descent and the lower class are Arabic to justify this casting choice. (This will more than likely not happen.)

2 Thoughts on “Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine

  1. Angelique on 08/08/2017 at 9:35 pm said:

    I would rather see Naomi as Esmeralda, don’t care about her role as Jasmine, I already had my perfect cast for Jasmine in mind: Luciana Zogbi, she is brazilian, but of lebanese descent, she can sing and has an amazing voice, she also is the clone of Princess Jasmine from Disney IMO. You should check her youtube account, I don’t know what kind of music you are into, but her covers are nice:

    I haven’t seen your blog in a while, so I have to catch up! Have a lovely day!

  2. Suzain on 08/03/2017 at 6:15 pm said:

    I personally think its nice to have actors of the same race and ethnic background of the charcters, however I don’t think it should make a big deal, I am more interested in looks and Naomi looks the part of Jasmine for me. If someone looks indian, I don’t see the problem of playing an idian part even if it’s not genetics, I never look for the actors and actresses backgrounds, most of the time I don’t even know their names, the movie should be much more visual than “genetic”. However I think it’s better to put someone of the same race or ethnic background as the character to give a chance to this artists, but if not, I don’t think it’s a big deal.

    Personally, I am middle eastern, and I liked the casting. Remember that if the story was set in Persia, as some also suggest, it was a big Empire made of lots of different cultures, so she still would fit or perhaps they should cast a chinese girl like in the original Story…

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