Racism row erupts over 'shameful' all-white Aladdin - Panto blasted as 'DISGUSTING!'

The Aladdin pantomime which features an all-white cast has been condemned as 'racist'
The Aladdin pantomime which features an all-white cast has been condemned as 'racist'

A pantomime production which includes an all-white cast has been condemned as 'racist'

Published

An Aladdin pantomime featuring all-white performers has been branded as "racist" and "disgusting" as actors call for an "industry wide conversation" about casting.

The actor’s union Equity said they were “shocked by a very white-looking” cast at Liverpool's M&S Bank Arena which stars Coronation Street’s Connor McIntyre as Abanazar and The Voice contestant Kelsey Beth Crossley as Princess Jasmine.

During the performance, lyrics such as “come on down to our oriental town” were sang which actor Irvine Iqbal, who played the Sultan in the West End production of Aladdin, said he would refuse to say.

The Liverpool pantomime has been called "shameful"
The Liverpool pantomime has been called "shameful"

On Twitter he said the pantomime was “shameful” and that actors should challenge such “racial slurs”.

“ALL white cast in a production of Aladdin where the lyrics are 'Come on down to our oriental town' in the diverse city of Liverpool,” he tweeted.

“This is diverse Britain! #Shameful."

The UK Pantomime Association has also condemned the production saying it takes “seriously the need for innovation and progression in the sector, including the… removal of racist stereotypes”.

Actor Benjamin Armstrong, who starred in West End show Rumi said he was “disgusted” by the production of Aladdin, which is set on the banks of the River Jordan in the fictional city of Agrabah.

He said: “I speak about casting authentic actors for Aladdin pantos a fair bit, but this goes beyond that.

The actor added that the lyrics were “100 per cent utter racism,” and “there is no excuse.”

Shone Productions say they will "take feedback on board"
Shone Productions say they will "take feedback on board"

Shone Productions, the casting and content company for the show, told the Daily Mail: “Our casting calls are posted on the website Spotlight which is the largest casting resource in the UK.

“Our adverts are open to all ethnicities. We have a diverse company of performers and backstage crew across all of our pantomimes. Our performers are cast based on their strength and ability for each role.

“We are keen to ensure our organisation is representative, and we will take feedback on board.