Peter Dinklage and Charlie Heaton are the latest stars to be criticized for roles they’ve chosen.
Game of Thrones’ Dinklage has spent a great deal of time trying to get a film about a fellow celeb with dwarfism, Hervé Villechaize, funded and produced. And now that My Dinner With Herve is set for HBO, he is opening up about criticism he’s gotten for playing a Filipino actor.
But, as Dinklage points, out, he was French, not Filipino. "The internet is the best thing and the worst thing. The funny thing about the backlash is it addresses what we address in the film about not judging a book by its cover. Hervé was judged by how he looked, and cast and perceived to be who he is accordingly," Dinklage told the outlet.
He continued: "There’s this term ‘whitewashing.’ I completely understand that. But Hervé wasn’t Filipino. Dwarfism manifests physically in many different ways. I have a very different type of dwarfism than Hervé had. I’ve met his brother and other members of his family. He was French, and of German and English descent. So it’s strange these people are saying he’s Filipino. They kind of don’t have any information."
A charity for people with disabilities is slamming the BBC for casting Stranger Things’ star Heaton as the main character in a remake of The Elephant Man. The 24-year-old is slated to play Joseph Merrick, a severely disfigured man who becomes known as the Elephant Man.
A disability equality charity named Scope is saying that a disabled actor should get the role.
"It's disappointing that a disabled actor has not been cast in the remake of The Elephant Man, as it's one of the most recognizable films to portray a disabled character," the charity said in a statement.
"This is a missed opportunity but sadly, a lack of diversity in the industry is nothing new. Disabled actors still often face huge barriers to break into the business. Not only are the roles few and far between, but castings and locations are often not accessible. There is a massive pool of disabled talent being overlooked."