The Muslim advocacy group CAIR says that releasing the “Aladdin” film during the presidency of President Donald Trump will worsen racism and Islamophobia, and they want critics to say so.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations says that the story that Aladdin is based on is racist and bigoted.
“The Aladdin myth is rooted by racism, Orientalism and Islamophobia,” read the statement from CAIR.
“To release it during the Trump era of rapidly rising anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and racist animus only serves to normalize stereotyping and to marginalize minority communities,” it continued.
The live-action movie is based on the Disney hit animated movie released in 1992 with the late Robin Williams voicing the iconic “genie” character.
But CAIR says that the original story and any movies based on it carry problematic and bigoted depictions of Middle Eastern culture.
“The overall setting, tone and character development in the ‘Aladdin’ story continues to promote stereotypes, resulting in a perpetuation of Islamophobic ideas and images,” the CAIR statement explained. “We urge the public and film critics to scrutinize the new production of ‘Aladdin’ in light of its historical context and today’s toxic environment for all minority communities.”
A lengthy Vox article explained the “ridiculously racist” aspects of the original 1992 film:
The 1992 film revels in a lot of Orientalist stereotypes: Its mythos reeks of mystical exoticism, with Agrabah explicitly described as a “city of mystery.” Jasmine is a princess who longs to escape an oppressive and controlling culture; her ultimate aim is to gain enough independence to marry for love rather than political expediency, which made her strikingly evolved for the time but seems hopelessly limiting now. Meanwhile, her father, the sultan, is a babbling, easily manipulated man-child. The citizens of Agrabah are frequently depicted as barbarous sword-wielders and sexualized belly dancers.
The live-action remake of Aladdin opened on Friday in theaters.
Here’s the preview for the problematic Aladdin film:
Aladdin – Official Trailer