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Academic With Dwarfism Defends Disney Against ‘Snow White’ Haters

snow white dwarf casting

In an article for Metro, academic Erin Pritchard shed a great deal of light on Disney’s casting changes for the upcoming live-action adaptation of the 1937 animated movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

The Infamous Leak

Disney recently began facing a lot of backlash after some on-set photos from the set of the new Snow White movie (which stars West Side Story actress Rachel Zegler and Israeli actress Gal Gadot) were leaked online.

The photos were not, reportedly, photos of the actual cast; instead, they were apparently photos of the stand-ins for Snow White and her seven dwarf friends.

However, the photos went viral before Disney could properly circulate the truth about the people serving as the stand-ins for the Disney film — and regardless of the individuals’ stand-in status, influential public figures like actor Dylan Postl still headed on-air to criticize Disney for taking those jobs away from dwarf actors and performers.

Erin Pritchard is a lecturer in Disability Studies at Liverpool Hope University, and she was hired as a consultant for the new Snow White movie in 2021.

At the time, Pritchard was apparently feeling optimistic about Disney’s plans for dwarf actor representation in the new live-action reimagining of the fairy tale — and now that the photos from the film have leaked, Pritchard still seems supportive of Disney’s choices.

“As a woman with dwarfism, this is a great change to see,” Pritchard wrote in her article.

Pritchard also specifically called out Dylan Postl, saying that he has “taken part in derogatory forms of entertainment, such as portraying leprechauns, that ensure all of us remain within an inferior position with society.”

Pritchard declared that Postl’s points about the loss of six dwarf actors’ jobs were inaccurate.

“It’s Wrong to Assume”

“It’s wrong to assume that people with dwarfism have to rely on the entertainment industry to find work,” the academic lecturer wrote. “I have met many people with dwarfism, working in numerous occupations, such as teaching, medicine, and law.”

Erin Pritchard did concede that “there are some who do work in entertainment who don’t want to become a laughing stock to get a role,” such as Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage (who attacked Disney for its casting choices in advance last year).

erin pritchard

Erin Pritchard Photo Credit: Erin Pritchard / metro.co.uk

However, Pritchard then proceeded to take down naysayers’ statements about “woke” Disney, saying that “any move that promotes even the slightest bit of equality for minority groups is branded by some commentators as ‘PC gone mad’ or ‘woke.’”

Disney “Used Them For Comic Relief”

The Liverpool Hope University lecturer and researcher also endeavored to remind readers that the 1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs movie had plenty of its own problems.

“In the Brothers Grimm story, the dwarfs were not even given names or included in the story’s title,” Pritchard explained. “However, Disney transformed the dwarfs, used them for comic relief, and unfortunately created one of the most recognized representations of dwarfism.”

Snow White in a Coffin being mourned by the seven dwarfs

Credit: Disney

“We’ve Got Plenty of Career Opportunities”

“When conducting my doctoral research, I found that people with dwarfism experience a lot of social abuse, a lot of which was influenced by Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” the Liverpool-based researcher went on.

“If Disney could change the story back in 1937, why can’t it do the same now, in 2023, to try and reflect the modern world?” Pritchard suggested.

“And don’t worry,” the Disney consultant added, “changing the Snow White story won’t put us out of work. We’ve got plenty of career opportunities.”

Have you seen the leaked photos that have caused such a stir in the Disney Fanatic community recently?

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!

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