Hollywood's most controversial movie castings

'Wonka' faces backlash for casting Hugh Grant as an Oompa-Loompa

Stars Insider

28/07/23 | StarsInsider

MOVIES Backlash

Hollywood has come a long way, but it still has a long road ahead towards equality and inclusiveness. Casting choices are a particular sore spot, as white actors are cast as people of color, able-bodied actors are cast as disabled characters, and cisgender actors are cast in transgender roles⁠—putting marginalized actors out of work. Even films aiming to show an underrepresented community stumble with issues like colorism—prejudice or discrimination against darker skin tones within the same racial group.

Timothée Chalamet's casting as Willy Wonka in the upcoming film 'Wonka' delighted fans of the Roald Dahl classic. He plays a younger version of Wonka than we've seen in previous adaptations, and Chalamet undoubtedly has the talent and the unique look to pull off the quirky character. No issues there! However, when the trailer was released in July, it received some backlash from the dwarfism community. The trailer shows Hugh Grant transformed into an Oompa-Loompa. "So, you're the funny little man who's been following me," Chalamet's Wonka says, looking at Grant who has the traditional orange skin and green hair. Grant has been shrunk down to 20 inches (50 centimeters) and his head is large in proportion to the rest of his body. 

An actor with dwarfism named George Coppen spoke out against the casting choice in an interview with the BBC on July 26. "A lot of people, myself included, argue that dwarfs should be offered everyday roles in dramas and soaps, but we aren't getting offered those roles, " he explained. It's clear that actors with dwarfism shouldn't be confined to playing mystical creatures like elves, ewoks, and Oompa-Loompas as they have been in the past, but better roles have yet to materialize. "One door is being closed but they have forgotten to open the next one," Coppen said. If actors with this condition aren't even being offered those few roles, will they lose their place in the film industry entirely? 

Click through to check out some of the most controversial movie castings in Hollywood's recent history. 

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