If you hadn’t heard already the Kristen Stewart helmed film Snow White and the Huntsman has come under criticism from a dwarf theatre group in Los Angeles (Beacher’s Madhouse) and dwarf group The Little People of America for casting famous regular size actors in the role of the

Huntsman and the ‘dwarves’

dwarves in the recent fairy tale adaptation. Before this row emerged I, and I expect the large majority of people, hadn’t given this a second thought; I saw the casting of people like Ray Winstone, Nick Frost and Ian McShane and though “oh, cool”. Since the fallout though I have pondered the situation and I do believe that these groups, who are also supporting a protest march over what has happened, make some very good points indeed.

Earlier in the year Mirror Mirror, another retelling of the Snow White story, was released and in the roles of the seven dwarves were cast shorter actors. However, the Rupert Sanders’ directed Snow White and the Huntsman opted for famous regular height stars. Why? No doubt it was for box office attention; but with Kristen Stewart of Twilight, Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth coming off the back of the success of The Avengers, was more box office draw really needed?

Mirror Mirror does it best.

The dwarves in Snow White and the Huntsman were barely even on screen that much and featured very little as the focus was on Snow White and the Huntsman as you would expect from the title of the film so what harm would it have done to cast dwarf actors in these roles. In Mirror Mirror the dwarves played a much larger and more important role in the overall story arc and yet were played by shorter actors.

There isn’t exactly a lack of talent in dwarf actors; in Mirror Mirror they all did a very fine job. Peter Dinklage, one of the most famous dwarf actors, even won an Emmy and a Golden Globe award for his role in the very successful television show Game of Thrones and yet he wasn’t even considered for a role here. The dwarves are written to be just that, dwarves and as such you should be casting dwarf actors to play the parts; the same way in which a male written part is played by a man and a female part is played by a woman, there is no difference.

Davis described the casting of the dwarves in Snow White and the Huntsman as ‘inexcusable’

Warwrick Davis, dwarf actor who has appeared in two of the most successful movie franchises ever: Star Wars and Harry Potter, perhaps says it best when he told E! News “It is not acceptable to ‘black up’ as a white actor, so why should it be acceptable to ‘shrink’ an actor to play a dwarf?”. There would be outrage if a white actor ‘blacked up’ as there was with Tropic Thunder when Robert Downey Jr. did so (even though his character in the film was doing it and not the actor himself there was still complaints surrounding it) so why is there not that same outrage with average height actors ‘shrinking’ with camera angles and special effects.

I think that Mirror Mirror went the right way about casting the seven dwarves because they used actors that were suitable for the parts and, even though it was the better film, Snow White and the Huntsman should have done the same. A huge insult has been shot at the dwarf community with Snow White and the Huntsman and there can not be a suitable reason as to why dwarf actors were not cast. Parts written as dwarves should be played by dwarf actors. End of story.

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