Rooney Mara
Credit: Carlo Allegri/AP

After news broke that Rooney Mara had been cast to play the character Tiger Lily in Joe Wright’s live-action Pan, an online petition surfaced urging Warner Bros. to stop casting white actors to play people of color.

“This casting choice is particularly shameful for a children’s movie,” the petitioner wrote. “Telling children their role models must all be white is unacceptable.” They hope to get 5,000 signatures. (At press time, they’d reached 4,785.)

The spirit of the protest is in line with many of the complaints that have been waged since Mara’s name was attached to the role, but it is worth noting that the verbiage of the petition isn’t completely accurate and actually pretty misleading. Saying “a statement by the studio was unapologetic,” it references facts (i.e. that the world being created is multi-racial and international and that “a black actress and a French actress were first considered for the role”) that they claim are from a Warner Bros. statement. While it has been widely reported that Lupita Nyong’o and Adèle Exarchopoulos were considered for the role and that the overall world of Pan would be international, Warner Bros. has not, in fact, issued any statement regarding Mara’s casting.

EW did not immediately hear back from Warner Bros. when contacted for a comment.

We’ve heard from a lot of you in our previous posts about the Tiger Lily backlash, but this online petition raises new questions. Do you think these sorts of movements are useful? Does anyone imagine that a studio would backtrack on a casting because of online rage?

2015 movie
  • Movie
  • 111 minutes