Snow White’s Seven Dwarf Heroes. As a short actor, it makes my blood boil that Disney canceled them, writes DYLAN POSTL

 Snow White's Seven Dwarf Heroes.  As a short actor, it makes my blood boil that Disney canceled them, writes DYLAN POSTL

Beauty has her beast. The lady still has her tramp. But Disney decreed that Snow White would no longer have her seven dwarfs.

Photos from the set of the live-action remake of the 1937 cartoon classic, revealed exclusively by the Daily Mail over the weekend, show the dwarves have been replaced by the ‘seven magical creatures’.

One of these seven appears to be a man of my height, 4 feet 5 inches. But the rest are normal ‘average height people’ or, I like to call them ‘normies’.

Snow White, The Dwarfs and The Six Normans – it just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

‘Magical Creatures’ is a mix of races and genders, and we all appreciate it. But they are sacrificing the careers of little people to achieve diversity. And that doesn’t sit well with me. The studio doesn’t seem aware that dwarves are also born in all races and genders.

Beauty has her beast. The lady still has her tramp. But Disney decreed that Snow White would no longer have her seven dwarfs

Disney’s magical Snow White comes to life in the UK as Rachel Zeigler leads the way as the enchanted Snow White while introducing the new Seven Dwarfs

I have had to fight my whole life to work in the entertainment industry, and I mean that literally. I’m a pro wrestler — not just any wrestler, I’m proud to say, a star of America’s legendary WWE. At its peak, World Wrestling Entertainment was a combination of Las Vegas showmanship, superhero comics and soap operas.

Some of them were bigger than mountains. And as my alter ego Hornswoggle, I took them on for ten years and matched them body-slam for body-slam.

I made my first WWE appearance in 2006, two days before my 20th birthday. It was the culmination of a childhood dream, which almost no one believed but me.

When I was four years old, scoliosis (a spine disorder) left me paralyzed from the waist down for six months.

My parents were afraid I would never walk. I had emergency surgery, and then a second operation where doctors fused my spine.

At the same age, I watched wrestlers on TV and I knew I wanted to do it. It looked wonderful. Sure, Hulk Hogan was 300lb of muscle, and Andre the Giant was a real giant, but that didn’t bother me. Being a dwarf wasn’t going to stop me from dreaming big.

But when I came out of surgery, the first thing the doctors told me and my parents was ‘no contact sports and trampolines’.

That was where my dream should have ended. . . And I wasn’t going to accept it. Years later, after watching me on television with WWE, my back surgeon sent a lighthearted email: ‘Well, looks like he didn’t listen.’

My point is, if I had paid attention to all the people who told me what I wasn’t allowed to do, I wouldn’t have lived my dream as a professional wrestler. My blood boiled when Seven Dwarf was cancelled.

Disney was horrified after Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage called Snow White ‘a backwards story about seven dwarfs who live in a cave’.

Speaking on a podcast with comedian Marc Maron last year, he complained that even though Snow White will be played by ‘a Latina actress’, Rachel Zeigler, ‘you’re still telling the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. what are you doing bro Have I done nothing to advance the cause from my soapbox?’

But Dinklage wasn’t advancing the cause—he was taking it too far. No one’s denying that he’s the world’s most famous little person, but that doesn’t make him the king of the dwarfs. He thinks he’s really Tyrion Lannister, the character he played in Game of Thrones.

Disney panicked. It issued a hasty statement: ‘To avoid reinforcing stereotypes from the original animated film, we are taking a different approach with those seven characters.’

Now we are here with the ‘Seven Magical Animals’. It is wrong in many ways.

Snow White has been a beloved fairy tale for centuries. More than that, it’s the foundation of the entire Disney empire: Walt gambled everything to make the first full-length animated movie in the 1930s, and it proved such a success that his studio is now worth billions.

The original film works because the seven dwarfs are distinct characters, real people. Dopey can’t talk but is affectionate and loyal. And dear old Grumpy isn’t really the curmudgeon he pretends to be — he’s a romantic at heart. They are all heroes, rescuing the princess from her evil stepmother who is jealous of her beauty.

Far from ‘reinforcing stereotypes’, this timeless cartoon teaches children that height isn’t all that important. Everyone is different – that’s the message and the true meaning of diversity. We are all trying to build a more progressive culture. By showing up on his soap box, Dinklage has damaged it.

On a more practical level, he also did real damage to other minor actors. He cost us six a chance for a supporting role in a megabox film.

It’s the kind of deal that can make a career, and Dinklage knows it because he found his breakthrough in such a film. In 2003 he played Miles Finch opposite Will Ferrell in the Christmas classic Elf. Ferrell mistakes Finch for an elf from Santa, and gets drop-kicked. ‘Oh!’ Ferrell said. ‘She’s an angry fairy.’

It’s a funny scene, and it works because Dinklage is 4 feet 5 inches tall. It wouldn’t be funny if he was made to look like Hulk Hogan.

Since then, Dinklage has played many dwarf roles and is happy to get paid for them.

As we said in Wisconsin, those checks have been cashed. I don’t understand why he hates to see other younger actors take on similar roles, especially in a Disney film that’s sure to be a hit.

It’s not just seven co-stars: there will be at least six stunt doubles as well. Dinklage has ensured that many of our peers are deprived of coveted jobs, and we should applaud him for that.

He must know how often actors of average height steal our work. When Kristen Stewart starred in Snow White and the Huntsman in 2012, three of the seven dwarfs were played by Ray Winstone, Bob Hoskins and Ian McShane – all men of normal height. And don’t even get me started on the upcoming Willy Wonka movie for release this Christmas.

In Mel Stewart’s 1971 version, he cast ten dwarfs to play the Oompa Loompas. In Tim Burton’s 2005 remake, the role went to the 4ft 4in Gurdeep Roy, who was digitally cloned. So why has the role now gone to 5ft 11in Hugh Grant?

If the Seven Dwarfs can be ruled out, nothing is sacred in our culture. And it’s a problem for everyone. Rather than risk harming a single individual, these giant corporations sacrifice entire sections of society.

It becomes a question of who can protest the loudest, who can wave the biggest red flag and claim that their feelings have been hurt. It is the opposite of democracy, if one person’s opinion is allowed to dictate how we all live.

I know how many kids are inspired by my wrestling character Hornswoggle, because they tell me every day on social media. Many of them are shorter than average, and many face various types of limitations

They need to see real dwarf actors in blockbuster fantasy movies. Any film you can name will feature the Seven Norms — but Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is special.


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