Disney is trying to explain its plans to make a live-action version of its 1937 animated fairy tale Snow White and the Seven Dwarves after Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage tore into the Mouse House over the project on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast Monday.
Standup comic Maron was attempting to convince Dinklage that all comedians who consider themselves “anti-woke” are “carrying water for right-wing propaganda” when the conversation turned to the upcoming film.
Dinklage said, “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. Take a step back and look at what you’re doing there. It makes no sense to me. You’re progressive in one way, but then you’re still making that fucking backward story about seven dwarfs living in a cave together? What the fuck are you doing, man?”
The Emmy-winner added sarcastically, “Have I done nothing to advance the cause from my soapbox? I guess I’m not loud enough.”
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter Tuesday, Disney responded that some of its best friends are little people.
“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,” the studio said. “We look forward to sharing more as the film heads into production after a lengthy development period.”
Dinklage went on to warn that attacking everything that strikes one as incorrect also tends to go too far, as in 2018 when he found himself at the center of a “whitewashing” controversy for portraying Fantasy Island actor Herve Villechaize in HBO’s My Dinner with Herve.
“There was a lot of early backlash,” Dinklage recalled. “How dare he play a Filipino? They were so liberal-minded, and I am as liberal as anybody. But they were so convinced because of how he looked, Herve, that he was Filipino… If that’s not racism, what else?Because he’s not. He was a Frenchman.”
In 2012, Dinklage used his Golden Globes Best Supporting Actor speech to draw attention to the case of Martin Henderson, a British dwarf who was injured when he was picked up and thrown outside a UK pub. In 1995’s Living in Oblivion—one of Dinklage’s first notable roles—he famously played a little person in a send-up of Twin Peaks who’s offended at the frequency with which dwarves show up in movie dream sequences.