In Universal Pictures’ new film “Snow White and the Huntsman,” Snow White’s small dwarf friends are played not by little people, but by average-sized actors, including “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” actor Bob Hoskins and “Deadwood”’s Ian McShane, digitally altered to appear shorter.
Little people have balked at this, claiming that they’ve been blindsided both career-wise and financially, in terms of opportunities that should be geared towards people of their stature. Universal Pictures has said the decision to go with average-sized actors was a casting one, and not based on body type. But Los Angeles theater group Beacher's Madhouse has reportedly sent a letter to Universal claiming little people involved in the group will protest with a “100-midget march” to Universal’s offices in Southern California.
With CG a common presence, transforming characters across gender and other boundaries in film and TV, is digitally altering average-sized actors into smaller stature roles generally reserved for little people acceptable, or is it just plain discrimination?
Danny Woodburn, actor who opposes average sized actors digitally altered to play little person roles
Steve Zeitchik, covers film for the L.A. Times
Jeff Beacher, creator and host of Los Angeles theater group Beacher's Madhouse, which has threatened a “100 midget march” to Universal Pictures to protest average-sized actors digitally altered to play dwarves in “Snow White and the Huntsman”