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Background Actor Says Disney Is ‘Browning Up’ White Extras for 'Aladdin'

Disney is getting bashed after bosses reportedly admitted to making up their white background extras to look brown during filming of Aladdin.

In preparation of the highly anticipated live-action production, which stars Will Smith as the Genie, is currently being filmed by Guy Ritchie at Longcross studios in Surrey.

But despite production taking place a short drive away from London, a city with over one million Asian people, Disney said its as forced to hire white actors to work as background extras.

The studio said positions for stunt men, dancers and camel handlers could not be filled for the movie. That said, bosses said the live-action version of Aladdin is the most diversely cast production in Disney’s history.

The studio said that 400 of the 500 background actors were Indian, Middle Eastern, African, Mediterranean and Asian, reported the Sunday Times.

A modern version of the highly-anticipated 1992 movie is set in the fictional Arabian state of Agrabah.

Actress Naomi Scott is playing Jasmine and Egyptian-born Canadian Mean Massoud is playing the lead role of Aladdin, following an extensive talent search.

However, despite Disney’s statement, a man who worked on the movie has claimed there were more white actors used than the studio explained to the Sunday Times.

Background actor Kaushal Odedra, 32, was a stand in for a lead star in the film and told the Times he saw up 20 'very fair skinned' actors waiting to have their skin darkened in make up tents.

He also claimed Caucasian extras were even being browned up for crowd shots.

'Disney are sending out a message that your skin colour, your identity, your life experiences amount to nothing that can be powered on and washed off', he told the Times.

Actor Kal Penn called out Disney for not hiring enough Asian actors. "I love @Disney so much. But when a PR person says they decided to put 100 people in Brownface in 2018 because not enough of us are qualified, that’s bs, someone just didn’t want to spend the $ to do it right. Let’s all expect more & do better this year." Related: What do you think? Discuss this story with fellow Project Casting fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @projectcasting.

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