Flora on Netflix’s Winx Club remake sparks ‘whitewash’ accusations

Netflix's Fate: The Winx Saga
Fate: The Winx Saga is the the live-action adaptation of Nickelodeon’s animated Winx Club series. Pic credit: Netflix

Netflix’s newly released trailer for the upcoming fantasy series Fate: The Winx Saga has sparked accusations of “whitewashing.”

Fate: The Winx Saga is a new live-action drama series based on Iginio Straffi’s animated Winx Club series that premiered on Nickelodeon back in 2004.

The upcoming live-action series targets young adult fans of the original cartoon series.

Fate: The Winx Saga follows the adventures of a group of fairies (the Winx) at Alfea College for Fairies in the Otherworld. The fairies are learning the magical arts at Alfea while fighting villainous monsters.

According to Netflix’s official tagline for the series:

“A group of fairies learns to master their magical powers while navigating love, rivalries and the monsters that threaten their very existence.”

The trailer shows the girls exploring their magical powers.

The series — co-executive produced by Straffi and Brian Young (The Vampire Diaries) — stars Abigail Cowen as Bloom, Danny Griffin as Sky, and Hannah van der Westhuysen as Stella.

Others include Elisha Applebaum as Musa, Eliot Salt as Terra (Flora from the animated series), and Precious Mustapha as Aisha.

Netflix’s Fate: The Winx Saga trailer sparks “whitewash” accusations

After seeing the new trailer for the upcoming Fate: The Winx Saga series, many fans took to social media to slam Netflix for allegedly “whitewashing” the new live-action adaptation of their favorite cartoon series.

They expressed anger and frustration over what they considered the series’ lack of diversity and inclusivity.

While some fans acknowledged the fact that Aisha — who is dark-skinned in the cartoon series —  is portrayed in the live-action adaption by the black actress, Precious Mustapha, they insisted that overall, the series lacks diversity and inclusivity.

Fans took issue with the choice of actresses portraying Flora and Musa

In the animated series, Flora (the fairy of nature) is a brown-haired character voiced by the Latina actress Alejandra Reynoso. While Musa, the fairy of music, is a black-haired character voiced by the Japanese-American actress Romi Dames.

However, in the live-action series, Flora and Musa are portrayed by white actresses.

“Honestly they just killed my entire childhood by releasing this. Who the hell was in charge of casting because wow this is all wrong. Where is the Latina Flora, the Asian Musa and why is Tecna missing? Netflix letting me down already,” a disappointed fan tweeted.

Others expressed hope that Netflix would change the cast in upcoming seasons.

“How do you think @netflix will correct the whitewashing they did on the first season of Fate? Turning Flora (Terra but definitely flora) and Musa white was unacceptable,” a fan tweeted.

Some fans defended the Winx cast

Some fans defended the choice of actresses to play Flora and Musa, saying it did not matter since the characters are only fictitious cartoon characters.

But others pushed back, wondering why the showrunners didn’t cast a black or Asian actress to portray Bloom.

As of this writing, Netflix has not officially responded to the “whitewashing” allegations.

The latest controversy comes after Jemele Hill and Cari Champion came under fire for asking YouTube star Jake Paul if it was racist of him to knock out the former NBA star Nate Robinson during their recent boxing match.

Fate: The Winx Saga premieres on Netflix on January 22, 2021.

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