Let’s get one thing out of the way first: Princess Tiger Lily is not a real person. Tiger Lily lives in Neverland (also not real).
Tiger Lily is also Native American.
So, when news broke that Patrician-featured actress Rooney Mara would be playing the character in Joe Wright’s live-action Peter Pan re-telling, Pan, the whitewashing accusations started to fly (particularly in our comments section).
Out of all of Hollywood’s sins, their egregious history of offensive portraits of Native Americans on film is one of the more shameful — a sore spot that is only exaggerated when caucasian actors continue to be cast in these roles. It’s not surprising that people are getting riled up about the news. From Johnny Depp’s Tonto to Michelle Williams’ controversial magazine cover, the portrayal of Native Americans in the media is always going to be a hot-button issue. But, it’s possibly more complex in Pan’s case because Tiger Lily is fundamentally problematic, and no casting is going to make up for that.
Shall we dig in?
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