OscarsSoWhite: Rooney Mara admits she 'hate hate hated' sparking whitewashing debate as Tiger Lily in Pan

Mara has kept quiet on the Hollywood diversity debate as she does not want her opinions 'reduced to soundbites'

Jess Denham
Monday 22 February 2016 10:39
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Tiger Lily is portrayed as a Native American princess in both JM Barrie's book and the original Disney film
Tiger Lily is portrayed as a Native American princess in both JM Barrie's book and the original Disney film

As Rooney Mara prepares to grace the red carpet at Sunday’s Oscars ceremony, she will be all too aware of the diversity crisis casting a shadow over the glitzy event.

The Carol star is up for Best Supporting Actress, making her part of the second consecutive all-white list of acting nominees. While Charlotte Rampling and Meryl Streep have drawn criticism for their defensive remarks over #OscarsSoWhite, Mara has kept quiet, not wanting her thoughts on the sensitive issue to be “reduced to a soundbite”.

Perhaps a more pressing reason for her silence, however, lies in her recent turn in the whitewashing spotlight after playing Native American princess Tiger Lily in Pan.

Mara found dealing with the widespread controversy “tricky” despite enjoying her time on the production. “There were two different periods; right after I was initially cast and the reaction to that and then the reaction again when the film came out,” she told The Telegraph.

“I really hate, hate, hate that I am on that side of the whitewashing conversation. I really do. I don’t ever want to be on that side of it again. I can understand why people were upset and frustrated.”

A recent Hollywood diversity report found that women of colour were less likely to be featured as a significant character in a film: just 27 per cent had major roles, as opposed to 38 per cent of white females.

“Do I think all of the four main people in the film should have been white with blonde hair and blue eyes?” she asked herself. “No.

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