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Who Is Playing Prince Anders in Aladdin?

Why the New Character in Disney's Live-Action Aladdin Is Infuriating Fans

Disney's live-action Aladdin reboot based on the 1992 animated film is facing another casting controversy. A few months after reportedly "struggling" to find an actor of colour to play the title character (Egyptian-born Canadian actor Mena Massoud was later chosen), Disney has created a brand-new character to add to the beloved story: Prince Anders, played by Ingrid Goes West actor Billy Magnussen.

Although Magnussen has some experience playing a prince — he appears as Rapunzel's royal love interest in 2014's Into the Woods — fans are understandably upset with the studio's decision. For many, the move feels like a way for Disney to shoehorn a white character into a story that's celebrated for predominantly featuring Middle Eastern characters. With all the added backlash from the previous casting scandal, which a lot of people still aren't happy about (Jasmine is being played by British actress Naomi Scott, who is of Indian instead of Middle Eastern descent), it seems that the Guy Ritchie-directed movie just can't seem to stay out of hot water.

Fortunately, Magnussen, who has yet to respond to the backlash other than retweeting The Hollywood Reporter's casting announcement, isn't taking on a role that was originally intended for a non-white actor (like Scarlett Johansson's much-maligned performance in Ghost in the Shell). Still, countless fans took to Twitter to point out how it's yet another example of whitewashing in the movie industry.

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