The Black-ish and Grown-ish star, Yara Shahidi, who recently signed a massive deal with ABC Studios to launch her production company, 7th Sun Production, has been casted as Tinkerbell in Disney’s live-action Peter Pan & Wendy.
This makes Shahidi the first Black woman to fill this role that has traditionally featured a white actress. Disney is continuing to progress in its efforts to diversify its classic characters as this news comes after Disney revealed that Halle Bailey will play Ariel in The Little Mermaid.
“Thank you for all the love,” Shahidi wrote in an Instagram post. “It truly means so much to me. I’m excited for this next adventure.”
It’s so exciting to see young Black women casted as classic Disney characters and princesses who we are used to seeing played by a white character, whether it be in the animated or live- action movie. Growing up, Disney princesses were always white, aside from when Brandy played in the Black Cinderella, so that was the norm for me, and other little Black girls like me. And because that was what I was used to seeing, I believed as a little girl that that’s what princesses on tv were supposed to look like.
Casting black women in these types of roles, especially young black women, gives little Black girls hope. It is a reminder that princesses come in all shapes, sizes and colors and that there is no specific way that a princess is supposed to look. It’s never about your skin tone, your body shape, or even your hair type, it’s about how confidently you wear your crown.