Entertainment

Christian Navarro Allegedly Deleted Tweets That Called Disney Out For Saying They Wanted To Cast ‘European’ Prince Eric

Earlier this summer in July, Disney announced its decision to cast Halle Bailey from Chloe x Halle to play princess Ariel in their live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. Variety reported that although director Rob Marshall had spent a couple of months meeting with potential princess Ariel’s, the R&B singer Halle Bailey was the clear choice for the role of Ariel since the start. And while buzz from just a few weeks ago about a Latino prince had us pumped… 

It turns out Disney is still looking for their Prince Eric. And they want him a little more “European.”

From singer Harry Styles to now 13 Reasons Why actor Christian Navarro, there’s been a lot of rumors going on about who will play Prince Eric in the live-action adaption of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. 

Earlier in August, Navarro tweeted that he had heard Harry Styles pass on the Prince Eric role, so he threw his name in the hat so Disney could have its first “Latino Prince” alongside its first “Black Ariel.” 

After much support from his fans and after campaigning for about a month on Twitter to be the next Prince Eric, Navarro tweeted on September 3 that Disney had seen his tweet and gave his team a call. 

People on Twitter were quick to show their support of the actor and one fan told him, “you’re going to kill this audition! Hoping you’ll represent us in the Latinx community as becoming the first Latino Disney Prince. If not, at least you put yourself out there!” 

“They wanted to see what I could do,” the 13 Reasons Why actor wrote in his tweet. “Tapes sent. Fingers crossed. Let’s make some history.” 

But on Wednesday, according to Daily Mail, Navarro claimed that he was not cast as Prince Eric in the upcoming live-action adaption of The Little Mermaid because allegedly Disney wanted someone more “European” for the role. 

Yesterday, the New York-born and Puerto Rican actor, broke the news to fans that he had actually been turned down for the role. 

According to Daily Mail, Navarro wrote in a tweet along with an eye-roll emoji that, “Disney said no. They’d like someone more ‘European.’ And we know what that means. In good times be grateful. In bad times be graceful.”

However, the tweets in question don’t seem to still be posted on his Twitter account. Navarro has seemingly deleted them without explanation. 

Daily Mail further reports that although the actor didn’t explicitly mention The Little Mermaid live-action remake in any of his tweets, but fans were quick to assume that he was referring to Disney’s film. The publication has also reached out to Disney for further comment on Navarro’s claim about them wanting to go for someone more “European” looking.

Navarro’s tweet detailing the rejection received more than 2,500 likes in the first three hours that it was posted and according to Daily Mail, fans reactions ranged from supportive to outraged. 

One fan tweeted to Navarro that they were “disappointed.” 

“It’s their loss cause you’d have made a brilliant prince Eric without a doubt. I’m sure you’ll get better roles to play!!,” the fan added. 

It’s safe to say that we’re not necessarily surprised if Navarro’s claim were true since many people had a lot to say when Halle Bailey was cast as The Little Mermaid‘s Ariel.

 People on social media were quick to express their unsolicited (and racist) comments about Ariel being cast as Ariel. Disney’s decision was met with backlash as people objected to a black woman being cast as Ariel using the hashtag #NotMyAriel. 

But who cares what the haters say, right?

For many young women who have yet to see themselves rightfully represented in media, Disney’s decision is significant and a small step toward accurate representation. 

The Little Mermaid live-action adaptation will incorporate original songs from the OG animated film as well as new songs from original composer Alan Menken with lyrics by “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manual Miranda, Variety reports. Miranda is also part of the production team for the film.  

The film’s cast also includes Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, Awkwafina as Scuttle, Javier Bardem as King Triton and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula (a role that rapper Lizzo and “Truth Hurts” singer hinted at wanting as well). 

Production for Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid is set to begin in early 2020, but who knows if they’ll stay on the timeline when they have yet to fill the leading male role.  

Ultimately, we hope that this doesn’t dissuade Navarro from pursuing other roles that he wouldn’t normally go after because we need more actors like him representing the community. 

Broadway’s ‘Frozen’ Is Getting A New Elsa And Ciara Renée Will Be Playing The Beloved Character

Entertainment

Broadway’s ‘Frozen’ Is Getting A New Elsa And Ciara Renée Will Be Playing The Beloved Character

ciararenee8 / Instagram

What do Idina Menzel, Caissie Levy, and Caroline Bowman have in common? They’re all Broadway actresses that have portrayed Elsa from “Frozen.” They also happen to be all white. Well, that’s all about to change!

Afro-Latina actress Ciara Renée will be playing the role of Elsa in “Frozen” on Broadway.

Credit: ciararenee8 / Instagram

Frozen made its Broadway debut in 2018 and was played by Caissie Levy. Idina Menzel was the voice of Elsa in the animated film. Now, an Afro-Latina has scored the coveted role. 

Renée will be playing Elsa, and McKenzie Kurtz will be making her Broadway debut as Anna. Renée and McKenzie will take over the roles. Caissie Levy and Patti Murin end their run as Elsa and Anna respectively on Feb. 16. Renée was previously in the Broadway show “Big Fish” as the Witch as well as “Pippin.”

“Here it is! It’s official! I’m joining the cast of @frozenbroadway as Elsa alongside this bright new star, @mckenziekurtz! And I am incredibly grateful! This is an opportunity to expand minds, open hearts, and empower folks with the power of LOVE! I can’t wait to get started!”

While we’re still getting to know the 29-year-old, we are learning so much about this extraordinary actress who is pretty amazing at showing her biggest supporters lots of love in return.

Credit: ciararenee8 / Instagram

Renée, who is half Black and half Puerto Rican, thanked her friends, family, and supporters by giving them exact instructions on what to do when they come to see her show on Broadway. 

“I just want to extend my heartfelt gratitude for all the support and love I received yesterday. It was honestly overwhelming. Thank you, thank you,” Renée said in a video on her Insta-story. “I am so thrilled to be playing Elsa.” 

“But I wanted to set down some ground rules about people coming to see the show,” she said. “I am always so grateful when people come to see the show, people I know, people I don’t. But it isn’t my favorite thing to know when you’re coming. So, if you’re someone I know well, and we have each other’s phone number and you live in New York City, please do not tell me when you’re coming. Please come and text me at intermission or at the end of the show, which is preferred, and I will make sure to put your name on the list. I will check it right after the show.”

She also gave instructions to those she doesn’t know all that well. “If we don’t know each other well or talk super often or you’re from out of town, please do let me know when you’re coming because I want to make sure that I get to see you. For everybody else, I will 100 percent do my very best to Stage Door [where actors meet fans after the show as they exit the theater] as much as humanly possible. I know people come from all over the world to see Broadway and I want to be there as much as I can. If I am not there, please know it’s for a reason. I may not be feeling well, or something is pulling me away, I don’t know what it is, but I will always do my best to Stage Door because I love meeting you all and I am so honored that you would come to see our shows.”

We just love how precise and in control she is about meeting friends and fans. That kind of gratitude will definitely take her far in Broadway and Hollywood. 

Aside from her work on the stage, Renée has also appeared in several television shows.

Credit: ciararenee8 / Instagram

The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native and 2013 graduate of Baldwin Wallace University has appeared in Facebook Watch’s series “Strangers,” Netflix’s “Master of None,” CBS’s “Big Bang Theory,” and on the CW’s superhero series “Legends of Tomorrow,” “Arrow,” and “Flash.”

If you haven’t heard Renée’s stellar voice, here’s a clip of the actress singing Demi Lovato’s “Stone Cold.”

Congrats on this new role, Ciara! We can’t wait to see her show on Broadway! Will you be going?

READ: The New Cinderella Remake Tapped Camila Cabello To Play The Princess And Billy Porter To Be The Fabulous Godmother

Throwback: Remember When Disney Tried To Trademark Día de los Muertos?

Entertainment

Throwback: Remember When Disney Tried To Trademark Día de los Muertos?

shot_by_prum_ty / Instagram

Since Disney Plus launched on November 12, people have been swept up in all the family-friendly chaos, indulging in a long list of classic Disney favorites. While the streaming service also plans to offer new original content, the company is definitely taking advantage of our generation’s lust for nostalgia, providing exclusive access to the Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, and National Geographic franchises (and reminding us how much Disney dominated our youth with films like The Lion King, The Cheetah Girls, and Gotta Kick It Up). Honestly, the list of iconic feel-good films is outrageously long, and it’s easy to understand why everyone’s so excited.

But it’s no secret that Disney’s wholesome image has been blemished by a long, varied history of controversy and criticism. While Disney has been accused of sexism and plagiarism numerous times, one of the most notable topics of discussion in recent years has been the company’s tendency to racially stereotype its characters, a propensity that is  especially notable in early Disney films (though many scholars and film critics argue that this has carried into the 21st century, despite Disney’s attempts to be more culturally sensitive).

On many occasions, Disney has acknowledged the racist nature of its older animated films, like Dumbo, The Jungle Book, and The Aristocats. In the descriptions for several programs on Disney Plus, there is a brief warning about the “outdated cultural stereotypes” contained within each film, and while several people view this disclaimer as a sign of progress, Disney has been criticized for making a bare minimum effort toward addressing the problematic elements of its past.

And speaking of the company’s past, how could we forget the time that Disney tried to trademark the term “Día de los Muertos” / “Day of the Dead”?

Credit: Pinterest / The Walt Disney Company

Back in 2013, Disney approached the US Patent and Trademark Office with a request to secure “Día de los Muertos” / “Day of the Dead” across many different platforms. At the time, an upcoming Pixar movie with a Día de los Muertos theme (read: the early stirrings of Coco) was in the works, and Disney wanted to print the phrase on a wide range of products, from fruit snacks to toys to cosmetics. Por supuesto, Disney received major backlash for trying to trademark the name of a holiday—what is more culturally appropriative than claiming ownership over an entire celebration? Especially one with indigenous roots?

“The trademark intended to protect any potential title of the movie or related activity,” a spokeswoman for Disney told CNNMexico at the time. “Since then, it has been determined that the title of the film will change, and therefore we are withdrawing our application for trademark registration.”

But prior to withdrawing their application, Disney received extensive backlash from the Latnix community. Latinos all over social media expressed their disdain for Disney’s bold and offensive attempt to take ownership of the holiday’s name, even starting a petition on Change.org to halt the whole process. Within just a few days, the petition had garnered 21,000 signatures.

Although Disney didn’t acknowledge whether the online uproar had influenced them to retract their trademark request, they were clearly paying attention. Lalo Alcaraz, a Mexican-American editorial cartoonist, had expressed open disdain at what he called Disney’s “blunder,” creating “Muerto Mouse”—a cartoon criticizing said blunder—in response.

Credit: Lalo Alcaraz / Pocho.com

This wasn’t the first time Alcaraz had criticized Disney with his cartoons. After the trademark fiasco, Disney definitely caught wind of Alcaraz’s position, and in an effort to approach the upcoming Día de los Muertos movie with sensitivity, the company hired him to work as a cultural consultant on the film.

Although several folks celebrated this development, Alcaraz was widely denounced for collaborating with Disney—many people called him a “vendido,” accusing him of hypocritically selling out to the gringo-run monolith against which he had previously spoken out. But Alcaraz stood his ground, confident that his perspective would lend valuable influence to the movie and ultimately prevent Pixar from doing the Latinx community a disservice.

“Instead of suing me, I got Pixar to give me money to help them and do this project right,” Alcaraz said. “I was let down because I was hoping people would give me a little bit of credit for the stuff I’ve done; to give me the benefit of the doubt.”

And, sin duda, Coco emerged as one of the most culturally accurate films that Disney has ever produced. Employing an almost exclusively Latino cast and crew, Coco seamlessly captured the beauty, magic, and wonder of Día de los Muertos, depicting the holiday with reverence and respect. And after becoming the top-grossing film of all time in Mexico, it’s safe to say that Coco helped Disney bounce back from its trademark mishap, even if more controversy is bound to emerge in the future.