'Peter Pandering': Disney's casting of Black-ish star Yara Shahidi as Tinkerbell sparks Twitter war

News of Disney casting Black-ish star Yara Shahidi as Tinkerbell in the live-action remake of Peter Pan has divided the internet. 

Outraged social media commenters are calling the move "pandering", claiming "Tinkerbell is not black" and asserting that Shahidi doesn't look like the cartoon character made famous in the 1953 original film. 

Meanwhile, many fans celebrated Shahidi's new role as a sign that Disney was taking the issue of diversity seriously, calling it a "cultural reset" and praising the positive impact the representation of Black characters in mainstream media would have on young viewers. 

"It just makes me so happy that now little Black girls are gonna be able to see themselves as Disney characters with Halle [Bailey] as Ariel, a mermaid and Yara as Tinkerbell, a fairy," one Twitter user wrote. 

Many social media users highlighted that the fictional character of Tinkerbell as a fairy was never tied to a specific race or culture, and so an updated adaptation shouldn't be viewed as a problem. 

"Tinkerbell is a FAIRY. They don't exist. It doesn't have a cultural background so it doesn't matter who plays them," one tweet read. 

"I am more than happy to see black ppl getting cast (and representation) in known movies. It has to be NORMALISED. This is cultural reset and I'm here for it!" 

Conversely, some people dubbed the latest iteration of Tinkerbell "another tokenized character", stating that Disney should put their efforts into creating more original Black stories and characters. 

"I'm sorry but I hate this. Uhh, Tinkerbell is white. We all know this. So what, black people cannot create their own legacy? We have to rewrite classic stories all in the name of inclusion? Why not make a movie that is authentically black? The storyline, setting, characters?" one tweet asked. 

"Oh, I see Disney is remaking Peter Pandering," read another. 

"I loved real Tinkerbell from the cartoon. I had her doll, I had her costume on Halloween, I had her stickers etc. It was an important part of my childhood. And I'm not alone with this issue. They ruined something we grew up with. It's not racism, it's psychology," one Twitter user claimed. 

Shadidi did not address the controversy over her casting, but did thank fans for "the love" she received following the announcement in an Instagram post. 

"I’m excited for this next adventure!" she wrote.