The studio cast Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily, and thousands have taken to a Care2 petition to protest the choice of a white actress for the Native American role. More than 4,200 signatures, out of their stated 5,000 goal, have been received.
“This casting choice is particularly shameful for a children’s movie,” the petition reads. “Telling children their role models must all be white is unacceptable.”
Plenty of criticisms of similar ilk have risen in the past. Jared Leto, who won an Oscar for his role in “Dallas Buyers Club,” was the subject of controversy as well, for being a man playing a trans woman. Before that, Disney was criticized for choosing Johnny Depp to play the Native American Tonto in “The Lone Ranger.”
“Pan” is set to release July 17, 2015, and also stars Hugh Jackman and Garrett Hedlund. Warner Bros. has not immediately responded to request for statement.