Casting of Jasmine and Aladdin for the the live-action film of Aladdin is underway and Zayn Malik fans are already coming in droves to support him to take on the lead.
The only problem? Zayn isn't Middle Eastern.
On the casting announcement for Guy Ritchie remake it specified that “These characters are Middle Eastern.”
In an attempt to avoid whitewashing, Disney might not consider the “I Don't Wanna Live Forever” singer for the part. Since the 24-year-old is Pakistani, he's considered South Asian. And the Middle East consists of Egypt, Syria, Israel, Iraq and Iran.
@ zayn, do us all a favor and go to the casting please pic.twitter.com/nnC9BtAQr5
— ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ (@artskidziam) March 12, 2017
Fans are in hot water as well for wanting him to portray Prince Ali. They must not have learned from the singer's model girlfriend, Gigi Hadid, who received backlash last October for her mistake in calling him “half Middle Eastern” in an interview.
Some comments from fans include, “they need a middle eastern cast [sic]” to “not everyone that looks like Aladdin is Middle Eastern.”
LISTEN TO ME YALL. ZAYN MALIK/AVAN JOGIA/DEV PATEL CANNOT BE CAST AS ALADDIN. THEY NEED A MIDDLE EASTERN CAST. NOT DESI. SAME FOR JASMINE.
— s (@desibxtch) March 11, 2017
Pakistani people are south asian so No zayn malik isn't Middle Eastern not everyone that looks like Aladdin is Middle Eastern ????
— •مها° Maha (@Okehaham) December 23, 2014
Aladdin is one of three Disney live-action remakes coming to theaters. Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson, is set to arrive in theaters this Friday, while casting for Mulan is underway.