Disney Responds To Peter Dinklage's Snow White Criticism: 'We Are Taking A Different Approach'

Peter Dinklage might be one of our most thoughtful and talented actors around, instantly adding a sense of gravitas and screen presence to each and every one of his roles — most recently in Joe Wright's upcoming "Cyrano." He's most well-known for portraying Tyrion Lannister throughout all eight seasons of "Game of Thrones," of course, but yesterday he made headlines for very different reasons. We reported on his comments, which took direct aim (rightfully so, to be clear) at Disney's upcoming live-action adaptation of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." Specifically, Dinklage's main issue revolved around the hypocrisy of the studio lauding the optics of taking a step forward in diversity and representation with the casting Rachel Zegler, a Latina actress, in the main title role ... all while still moving forward with a retelling of a story that is steeped in outdated and regressive stereotypes concerning people with dwarfism in the first place.

For those who take the time to see the situation from his perspective and refrain from expressing kneejerk contempt for Dinklage voicing these frustrations at all, it's actually incredibly easy to see where he's coming from. Disney, of all studios, has a mixed track record when it comes to properly navigating these sorts of social issues (need we remind anyone of the brownface controversy on the set of Disney's "Aladdin" remake?) and Dinklage has a lifetime's worth of experience in navigating offensive roles and poor treatment at the hands of others within the industry and in everyday life. It's an extremely easy call to decide which party I'm giving the benefit of the doubt to in this situation, let me put it that way.

After signing off his comments with the exasperated statement of, "Have I done nothing to advance the cause from my soapbox? I guess I'm not loud enough," Disney is quickly pivoting to damage control mode and have released a statement of their own in response to this criticism.

Disney Responds

One day after Peter Dinklage's fiery criticisms of Disney's upcoming "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," Disney has rushed to address these concerns and assure the public that they're aware of the sensitivity needed in approaching this story. First, here are Dinklage's full comments:

"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 f***ing backward story about seven dwarfs living in a cave together? What the f**k are you doing, man? Have I done nothing to advance the cause from my soapbox? I guess I'm not loud enough."

In a statement, Disney offered this response:

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. We look forward to sharing more as the film heads into production after a lengthy development period.

Obviously, Disney probably should've gotten out in front of this potential controversy to begin with and showed some sort of awareness that the creative team involved would be treating the subject matter with as much respect and dignity as possible ... or simply not make the decision to produce another adaptation of this very well-known story in the first place, given how tough it is to separate such offensive depictions from the traditional fairy tale. THR reports that the production will employ cultural consultants, as previous films such as "Aladdin" and "Mulan" have done (to, uh, uneven results). Only time will tell if Dinklage's concerns and — more importantly — those of the broader community will be addressed satisfactorily.

Production on "Snow White" is set to begin later this year.