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Snow White & The Seven People Of Various Sizes Who She May Or May Not Be Attracted To
We're doing this again.
A few days ago, the Daily Mail published photos allegedly from the set of the live-action Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs film. In the photos, the people playing these dwarfs are not short. Well, one of them is short, but the other six are just a bunch of normal-sized people. This prompted backlash from the “go woke, go broke” crowd because, in addition to the size thing, not all of the would-be dwarfs are white men.
I would like to pause and make it clear that I do not want to be associated with that complaint. As far as I am concerned, magical fictional dwarfs can come in all colors, genders, and ethnicities!
They do, however, need to be short.
Now, this is a little messy because after the Daily Mail published their photos, Disney came out and said they were “fake” and “not from our production,” but then the next day, another Disney spokesman clarified that the photos were not fake but were rather “not official film photos. These show stand-ins for some talent and do not feature Rachel Zegler or Andrew Burnap.”
Traditionally, stand-ins look somewhat like the actual cast members because it sort of defeats the purpose of helping the lighting guy set up if a sumo wrestler is standing in for Timothy Chalamet. But this film is a big-budget, CGI extravaganza, and maybe the rules are different for those. There’s a lot of movie magic happening on those Disney sets! I do not think it is fair to conclude from these set photos that six of the seven dwarfs in the film are going to be tall in the finished product.
But TMZ is concluding that. Moreover, they tie it to a minor story you may remember from last year: Peter Dinklage, a little person, went on the Marc Maron podcast and voiced some complaints about them making a live-action adaptation of the beloved cartoon because he thought the dwarfs were insulting to real dwarves.
While some were outraged about the fact that Zegler, a Latina, would be playing Snow White ... he was more concerned about showing little people in a demeaning way, and Disney heard him loud and clear ... changing course. At the time, they said ... "To avoid reinforcing stereotypes from the original animated film, we are taking a different approach with these seven characters and have been consulting with members of the dwarfism community."
I wrote about Dinklage’s complaints (and other complaints along the same lines from various silly publications) at the time because they were stupid. I have many more subscribers now than I did in February of last year, so I figured I might as well take this as an opportunity to re-up that post, if only because it has one of the most bizarre headlines I have ever written. Heads up: it’s pretty long and sort of weird.
Is Snow White A Bigot For Failing To Consider Having Sex With The Dwarfs?
A conversation between two sides of my brain.
Why didn’t Snow White have sex with the dwarfs?
I don’t know. Maybe she did.
No, she didn’t.
I guess I haven’t seen the movie in a while.
OK, well, take my word for it, she doesn’t have sex with the dwarfs.
What’s it even about again?
Snow White is an orphan princess and she meets these dwarfs and they invite her to live with them and they all become very close and then the evil queen casts a spell on Snow White and she falls into a coma and the dwarfs go and find Prince Charming and he kisses her while she’s asleep and breaks the spell.
Seems like the real problem here is about consent!
Yes! True, but we’re here to talk about the dwarfs.
Because Disney is doing a live-action remake of Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs and Peter Dinklage says it is offensive to dwarfs.
Why is it offensive? It sounds like dwarfs are the heroes.
YES! Thank you. That is my point.
Peter Dinklage wants Snow White to have sex with the dwarfs?
No, I don’t think so. Well, maybe. I don’t really know what he wants. He gave an interview on the Marc Maron podcast in which he criticizes the remake as being “a backwards fucking story about seven dwarfs who all live together in a cave.”
I’m not done yet. Importantly, the dwarfs don’t live in a cave. They are miners. They work in a cave. They live in a cottage.
Why is that important?
Because it’s his only direct criticism! He says that they live together in a cave, but 1) people have roommates. That isn’t weird, and 2) they don’t live in a cave. They live in a cottage.
Do the dwarfs want to fuck Snow White?
It is never suggested that they do.
Maybe Peter Dinklage is suggesting that the dwarfs are offensive because they don’t express an interest in fucking Snow White? Isn’t she the fairest of the land? Why wouldn’t these sexless dwarfs want to sleep with her?
She’s basically their daughter! They are old father figures! It seems pretty insane to suggest that they want to fuck her.
So, who wants to fuck her?
Well, Prince Charming does.
Right, which is problematic in its own way.
Yeah, and basically, when I was trying to find out why the dwarfs are offensive I found a ScreenRant post from last year that says the movie is offensive to dwarfs because it doesn’t even suggest that Snow White might fuck even one of the dwarfs.
“They housed her. They fed her. They all sang and danced together. They fell in love with the raven-haired princess. Yet, even though Snow White doted on them, never once was it even suggested that she might fall in love with one of the Dwarfs. Not when there was a prince somewhere out there.”
I think it’s pretty screwed up to assume that women have to consider fucking every male friend they have regardless of height.
And that men regardless of height need to have a presumed interest in fucking every female friend they have!
If they want to have sex, then ok, that’s between them, but society should not be demanding that Snow White or any of the seven dwarfs consider fucking each other just because they are friends.
To Peter Dinklage’s original comment, it could still be of course that the dwarfs are offensive in another way.
Isn’t one of them called “Dopey” and has a bunch of learning disabilities?
Yes, Dopey is an idiot.
Maybe he’s offended because of Dopey.
But Dopey is one of 7! The movie is not saying that all dwarfs are like Dopey. The movie is in fact saying that the overwhelming number of dwarfs are not like Dopey!
Wasn’t Peter Dinklage in Elf?
He was the Angry Elf.
That seems more offensive than Snow White.
Sure, but it’s also his right to be in whatever he wants! Elf was fine.
Some people would say that since Peter Dinklage has a form of dwarfism, him simply explaining that he finds it offensive at all means that non-dwarfs should simply shut up and accept his word for it.
Many people have told me that on Twitter.
I imagine you have a response?
I do! My response is that I totally understand why Peter Dinklage might cringe at Snow White and that everyone is entitled to their own cringe, but that in reality, that’s a different question than whether the film is creating or worsening harmful stereotypes.
I have a glass eye so I’m going to use this as an example. When movies do harm in depicting groups like “people with one eye,” they do that in two ways: 1) they tell the people in that community that they are worth dog shit, or 2) they tell the rest of the world that people in that community are worth dog shit. There is no one on earth less qualified than myself to speak to how a film affects the opinions of people with two eyes. I have never had two eyes. I don’t know if watching James Bond blow people up with glass eye explosives colors the way they think about people with glass eyes. Maybe it does on some deep level but it seems pretty unlikely to me that it does on a more conscious level than that.
And when it comes to the prior question, if a film tells people with one eye that they are dog shit, I don’t trust my instincts. I know I was once probably too sensitive about it and now am maybe not sensitive enough. That’s the difference to me about whether these films might make you cringe or be meaningfully harmful.
In every movie ever made, someone with a glass eye is evil. When I was in elementary school the film “Last Action Hero” came out and the villain has a bunch of different glass eyes. I was teased as a kid about my eye and for a few months around that movie’s release that teasing sometimes involved references to the movie. To this day, I sort of cringe when I think about the movie.
But that doesn’t mean the movie is evil. It doesn’t even mean that it caused kids to tease me. It just means that for a few months, the teasing was Last In Action Hero themed. The movie didn’t cause the teasing. The teasing was going to happen either way. The movie just influenced briefly how I was teased. When I would go home and cry about people making fun of me with Last Action Hero references I was not crying because of the Last Action Hero. I was crying because I had one eye.
You might not even remember that the villain in Last Action Hero had a glass eye! In my experience, no one notices my eye as much as I do. Which ironically makes me the absolute worst authority on what movies about people with one eye are offensive. I tend to think that everyone is seeing every single thing about one eye and being deeply affected by it in negative ways and that then all the ills of my life, and the sadness and disappointment, is because of this thing totally outside of my control. But that’s obviously insane.
It’s just a fact of life that seeing your own trauma on-screen is fraught and can lead to lots of personal relationships with movies that make them uncomfortable. But that isn’t a reasonable test to ask movies to pass. What you can ask of them is to minimize the damage they do in the minds of people without a very personal connection to it.
Which is a long way of saying, someone with dwarfism might personally feel offended by a film’s portrayal of dwarfs even though that portrayal might be totally fine and unproblematic. That’s ok! Both things can be true!
So to be clear your take is that we should listen to everyone but Peter Dinklage about whether Snow White is offensive to dwarfs?
No, that is not my point. You should listen to everyone including people with the thing in question, but in the end, Disney has to make the decision for itself. Groups aren’t monoliths. You can’t even say “dwarves hate Snow White.” Already there are lots of people with dwarfism who are pissed off at Peter Dinklage. There is no easy “well, we’ll just leave it to the most famous actor with dwarfism to decide” solution to this stuff. You have to make a decision that involves some judgment on your part. You have to say “ok, we’ll make this movie that we think is not offensive in x y z ways but that I understand some people will still find it offensive and that’s just the cost of doing business.”
This seems obvious.
Of course, but at the same time, it goes against the entire way social media exerts pressure on large companies.
So this is about cancel culture?
In some ways!
Cancel culture is when people use the breadth of the internet to enlist people with no real connection to something in their fight so that the numbers simply overwhelm and terrify organizations. But it happens every day and no one remembers any of this stuff. Disney shouldn’t make a movie that it thinks is actually offensive. But it shouldn’t decide its movie is offensive because of what Twitter says for 12 hours.
Disney isn’t canceling the film.
Which is good?
So why are you so incensed about it?
Because it’s dumb and funny! I mean, literally, some people think Snow White should have considered fucking the dwarfs. Peter Dinklage, who owes his entire career to playing an “angry elf,” set off a massive new cycle about whether Snow White was offensive to dwarfs despite having such little familiarity with the film that he thinks they live in caves. It is entirely possible he is not even thinking of Snow White and is actually thinking of Lord of the Rings.
But you seem mad.
I’m not mad!
THIS IS HOW I TALK.
Seems like you’re a little mad.
To the extent that I am mad, I am not mad at Peter Dinklage or Disney or anyone else actually speaking to the substance of this dumbshit argument, but I am mad that social media is so profoundly stupid that people are like “why can’t you just accept that Snow White is prejudist because Peter Dinklage says it is backward even though he doesn’t even know they live in a cottage?” LOL. I’m going to have an aneurysm.
You say “LOL” but I don’t think you’re truly “laughing out loud.” I think you’re mad online.
This interview is over.
I’m the interviewer now, motherfucker.
No, I am the bolded font.
But the worm has turned.
Worms don’t turn.
Are you just jealous of Peter Dinklage because he is a big movie star and you aren’t?
Are you jealous that Snow White doesn’t want to fuck you either but you are full height so don’t even have that excuse?
I don’t want to fuck Snow White. Snow White is a fictional character.
OK, she’s fictional. You got me, Mr. Attorney, but let’s assume you live in the land of magic and cartoons and there is this cool, smart, wonderful princess who we know is “the fairest in the land” aka the hottest chick in this whole area. Are you telling me that you wouldn’t have crush on her?
I would probably have a crush on her. OK? I would.
But she won’t have you.
Maybe she would. You don’t know.
I do know. You repulse her.
Where in the text does it say that…
You have to read between the lines.
It doesn’t say it anywhere.
What are your good qualities, Ben?
I’m a funny guy. I am not the ugliest person to walk the earth. I’m pretty “down for a laugh” as they say.
That’s it? You’re funny, light-hearted, and not ugly?
Those are key parts of my appeal.
It sounds like you’re describing the dwarf “Happy.”
Why didn’t she fuck Happy then?
Because she didn’t.
Why would she fuck you and not Happy?
I don’t know.
Don’t you? I think you do. What is the difference between you and Happy?
Maybe she just didn’t want to fuck someone that small!
Peter Dinklage and ScreenRant are right: she will fuck you and not Happy because she is a bigot against dwarfs. You have made their point.
No, I haven’t.
Yes, you have.
No, because it doesn’t make you a bigot to not be attracted to short people.
It sounds a bit like it does.
I imagine a lot of people haven’t slept with me because they found my glass eye weird and a turn-off.
Oh Jesus Christ, shut up about the glass eye! We get it! You can’t be canceled for ableism!
Why would I not mention it?
Because we fucking get it, brah! Move on! Are you suggesting that you and dwarfs have struggled the same amount?
No. I would bet that they have struggled more.
But I would also bet that completely blind people have struggled more than them.
I think it’s weird to have a “who has struggled more” off.
Me too but you’re the one who started it!
Snow White doesn’t want to fuck you because you’re a fucking idiot; Snow White doesn’t want to fuck Happy the Dwarf because he’s short.
People are allowed to have “things” they’re sexually attracted to.
To an extent, sure, but not to the extent where you won’t even consider them just because of some physical trait.
Maybe she would consider dating a dwarf if she met the right dwarf.
But Happy isn’t the right dwarf? What about Doc?
I guess they’re not the right dwarfs for her.
The more I think about it the more I think ScreenRant is right. Why didn’t she find love with the dwarfs? If she didn’t like Happy, she could have gone with Doc, or Sneezy, or whoever. All personality types were present in the dwarfs. The one connective tissue was that they were dwarfs. Occam’s razor suggests she just isn’t sexually attracted to dwarfs.
They raised her! They were 50 years older than her! Maybe she wanted to date someone her own age?
She barely even knew that other people existed in the world.
Let’s cut the shit: what if they had a different skin color? Would you feel the same way?
I don’t think that having a different skin color is a fair comparison.
Because being of a different race isn’t a disability.
So, do you think having dwarfism is a disability?
Yes, I do. Just like being blind or deaf or having one eye or one arm or whatever is a disability. Yes.
You know that this is something many disabled people would find very offensive? The entire notion that there is something wrong with them.
I do know that and I think it’s silly. I know of no blind people or deaf people or one-eyed people or one-armed people or short people or tall people or mentally ill people who cannot relate to sitting alone at night and wishing to god that they just were like everyone else. Being flawed doesn’t make you a bad person, but it does mean you’re flawed. It would be nice to not be.
Do you think if Snow White’s seven friends were of normal height but of a different race, that it would make her a racist if she never considered sleeping with them?
Tick tock tick tock.
No, because they are way older than her and are her father figures!
Let’s forget about the age difference and the father figure thing. Do you think if Snow White just isn’t attracted to people of a different race, that she is a racist?
I do think that if you swipe left on people just because of their race you are a racist. You’re not necessarily a Klansman, but you are a racist.
Because I think in the situation where even “your type” is certain skin color, that it means you have internalized various things about race that make that your type. And that might not be your fault, but that it is still a fact about your mind.
But, Ben, couldn’t you say the exact same thing about short people?
I get that you don’t personally feel attracted to short people and that you personally are attracted to people of different races, but do you not accept that you may be just looking for differences between these situations that justify your own preferences and biases?
Yes. I admit that is a possibility.
Well then maybe Snow White should consider fucking the dwarfs.
I think ultimately I am far more worried about a belief that women have to consider every man they meet as a potential love interest than a belief that physical traits should in no way influence your sexuality.
There are roughly a zillion women on Tinder who say in their bio “don’t bother if you aren’t 6ft.” It would be very unfair to those women to conclude that they were bigoted towards 5’9” people like myself.
My main feeling about this is that people actually just are a host of crazy things. People fall in love for crazy reasons. They are attracted to people for crazy reasons. There is no little equation you can adhere to and be attracted for “the right reason.” I’ve never dated anyone with red hair. I don’t think that people with red hair are bad! I have been accused every once in a while of having red hair, though I maintain it is auburn. I don’t know what weird thing went on in my brain to make me not terribly attracted to red hair. It was probably something banal and stupid when I was in preschool, like someone with red hair getting me out in dodgeball or something.
How does this “everyone is crazy, so no one can be held accountable” view not extend to race?
On some level, it should. But I personally think that race in America is of a high enough valence that you should have interrogated your biases about it. And if you do that and come to the conclusion that you are swiping left on people of a different race, you should think about it, work on yourself, and rectify that bias.
Why don’t you do that with people with red hair?
I should! To be honest, I should. I had never thought about it until this conversation, and I will.
A lot of attraction is a black box, but not all of it. If you recognize some weird part of what you are or aren’t attracted to, I think you should investigate it yourself further.
So you’re saying that you might fuck one of the dwarfs?
Not initially! And the dwarfs have a lot of attraction burdens for me to overcome. Among other things, in the movie, they’re men. But if the movie was “Ben & the 7 female dwarfs” and we got rid of the element where they raise me, then I do think that ultimately I would probably consider fucking one of the dwarfs. I don’t know if that would need to make it to the final cut of the film, but it would be a part of my character’s backstory.
Bad news: those female seven dwarfs?
They don’t fuck people with one eye.