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‘Pan’ Trailer: Tiger Lily Is A White Girl Who Wears Plaid

The first trailer for Joe Wright’s “multi-racial” Pan features orphans, fairies, mermaids, and Hugh Jackman doing his best scenery chewing. It also features some egregious whitewashing.

On the surface, Pan is another in a long list of fairy tale remakes where the villain becomes “woobified”. Of course, the most recent example of this is Maleficent with Angelina Jolie. In Pan, it looks like Captain Hook/James Hook, played by Garrett Hedlund, will be one of the protagonists and actually teams up with Peter, before — ultimately — becoming his arch-nemesis.

This actually looks like it could be fun, which is a shame, because I can’t get past the Tiger Lily scenes. It’s bad enough that Peter Pan has a history of racism and perpetuating stereotypes about Native Americans. Disney’s Peter Pan has one of the most offensive portrayals of Native Americans I’ve ever seen.

But casting a white girl as Tiger Lily in the 2015 adaptation? “The Pan is our tribe’s bravest warrior.” Our tribe? It just looks like a gang of white people at Coachella, although I’m sure they’ll throw in a few minorities in the background. The Wrap reported that director Joe Wright was making a “very international and multi-racial” world, but I’m not seeing any of that in the trailer. Hell, all of the character posters feature white people. Levi Miller as Peter, Garrett Hedlund as Hook, Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily, and Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard. We also see a glimpse of model/actress Cara Delevingne as a mermaid. How exactly are you “challenging audiences’ preconceived notions”?

It also looks like Pan will be pushing a romance between Hook and Tiger Lily.

You can expect more whitewashing — this time of the historical variety — when Exodus comes out.

Read Chantal Rondeau’s article on xoJane about redface and Native Americans in Hollywood. “There are not a lot of mainstream roles out there for Native actresses, although we have some great actresses: Devery Jacobs (Rhymes for Young Ghouls), Tanaya Beatty (Twilight, Arctic Air), and Julia Jones (Twilight) — among many others who have both the talent and the beauty to be an A-List actor.”

The story of an orphan who is spirited away to the magical Neverland. There, he finds both fun and dangers, and ultimately discovers his destiny — to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan.

Pan opens July 17, 2015.

  • Ugh, “white-washing” at its finest. I mean, the ENTIRE cast is completely white. When will we ever learn?!

    • Nicky

      Now they do have some POC in the movie but guess what? They aren’t shown in the trailer! Wendy and Smee, who are being played the POC actors, do not show up in the trailer. I wonder why that is.

    • Man_of_Sin

      Lol why does it matter? The character was rather offensive.

      • It does matter. They had the opportunity to at least make it realistic. What would’ve been offensive is if they cast a Native American and then committed the same stereotypes previous Peter Pan films have done.
        This is, unfortunately, one of the few main roles that actually calls for a Native American and they didn’t even give it to one.

        • Man_of_Sin

          What do you mean by “realistic”? It’s Peter Pan. You can’t not have the tribe be a warlike savages that pretty much a huge aspect of them and this is an origin story.

          Like I said, Iron Man 3 did this with their villain which was originally Chinese and offensive.

          • By “realistic,” I mean they should have at least cast a Native American actor for the Native American roles. I’m not saying that through the casting of Native Americans it will make it “offensive.” We have no idea whether they’re even going to include that aspect of the original Disney film. Hopefully they cut out those scenes, especially where they call them the “redskins.”
            Just because they’re Native American doesn’t make them offensive. That’s just calling their entire race offensive.
            I don’t understand how it can be stereotypical to cast a Native American for a Native American role. We complain about the lack of diversity in TV and films, well, no wonder. We only cast whites or a completely different race to play other races. I mean, look at Avatar: The Last Airbender.

          • Man_of_Sin

            I don’t think her character is Native American in this incarnation. The guy who plays her father isn’t native american or white.

            Based on the trailers they are still going to be savage.

          • I just feel they could’ve taken this opportunity to have actually hired a Native American woman. They, along with so many others, are already severely underrepresented in media to begin with.