Yara Shahidi Responds to Backlash Against Black Actress Cast as Tinker Bell, Including Racist Comments

Yara Shahidi Responds to Backlash Against Her Role as Tinker Bell, Including Criticism from Racists

Disney+ recently released a teaser trailer for their upcoming live-action remake of Peter Pan & Wendy, featuring Yara Shahidi as Tinker Bell. Unfortunately, the news was met with criticism from racists who were upset at the idea of a Black actress playing the beloved pixie sidekick. Some even criticized Disney’s previous casting of Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid.

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Shahidi addressed the situation, echoing Bailey’s response about not paying attention to the negativity. She noted that the backlash is often driven by fear and misunderstanding of diversity and inclusion.

Shahidi believes that diversity and inclusion can enhance a story, rather than jeopardizing its quality. “It leads to the creation of something that impacts even more people,” she said. Shahidi also expressed her happiness at seeing how many people feel included in this fairy tale.

However, there were also some Black commenters who criticized Shahidi’s casting, calling it Disney’s “lazy” attempt at representation. One person even suggested that studios use existing beloved characters like Tinker Bell so they don’t have to create new characters for Black actors.

Despite the mixed response, Shahidi remains proud of her role in the film and sees it as a positive step towards more representation in Hollywood.