Disney's Moana was bashed for depcting the Polynesian demigod as "obese".
The upcoming animated movie Moana held several open casting calls for a lead speaking role in the movie. Once the casting search was announced, thousands of aspiring young actresses auditioned and applied for a shot to star in a movie alongside Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. But, after a promotional poster for the new Disney movie was released, many people have bashed the upcoming feature film.
Jenny Salesa, a politician in New Zealand, complained on Facebook. According to Yahoo, she said, "When we look at photos of Polynesian men and women from the last 100-200 years, most of our people were not overweight, and this negative stereotype of Maui is just not acceptable. No thanks to Disney."
Salesa noted that Disney movies "are very influential on our children," so the company should be aware of the way it creates its character. "The environment our kids grow up in and what they are exposed to have a role to play," she added.
Salesa was not alone. Will Ilolahia, president of the Pacific Islands media Association, said the way Maui is being depicted in Moana doesn't line up with folklore from their culture.
"We all have Maui in our folklore. For example, in New Zealand, here the Maori depict him as the person who fished up the North Island. I'm Tongan, and we have a similar story of Maui fishing up the outer islands, so he's held in high regard as a person of strength and a person of magnitude," he said to ABC.
Ilolahia added: "They've picked a deity that's quite important to our culture -- Maui is very significant -- and then to depict him in that character in regards to his physical appearance is actually an insult for our communities."
You can check out the trailer below:
Moana hits theaters on November 23, 2016.