Little people grumpy about Snow White

The new Snow White film has provoked controversy. The decision to use well-known actors instead of actual dwarves has been condemned by the Little People Of America.

Snow White And The Huntsman offers a very different and far more adult interpretation of the fairy tale than the Disney animation. The decision to cast actors Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Brian Gleeson, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost and Johnny Harris, superimposed onto little people’s bodies, has been greeted with dismay by the organisation.

Little People are worried that this will start a trend for casting digitally-altered big people, and reduce the roles available for actors with dwarfism. They told TMZ that Hollywood should be aware of their concerns: "This means both casting people with dwarfism as characters that were specifically written to be played by little people . . . and other roles that would be open to people of short stature".

Danny Woodburn, the actor famous for his regular role as a dwarf in Seinfeld, was critical. "This is akin to black face," he told the New York Post. "That kind of manipulation for the sake of art doesn't sit well with me".

Universal Studios issued a statement: "It was a casting decision, not a body-type decision. The actors came with pedigrees and recognisability".

It’s surprising that director Rupert Sanders chose that option, given that the film has made much of its authenticity and closeness to the Grimm fairytale and to myth. Academics from Oxford were even consulted on the dwarves’ names, drawn from the ancient Celtic alphabet.

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