PC Rules: No ‘Seven Dwarfs’ for Snow White in De Montfort Hall’s Christmas Panto

7-dwarves

The popular story was written in 1812, by the Brothers Grimm with the most famous interpretation made into a feature length animation by Walt Disney in 1937.

PA_Warzynski reports: De Montfort Hall has dropped the term dwarf from its Christmas panto Snow White.

Instead she will have “friends” because the production team say dwarf is not a term “people feel comfortable with.”

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 “Personally, I find it quite patronising when people are offended on our behalf. I’m sure there are those out there who don’t like the term, but as a short actor I want to be given the choice about whether I appear in panto or not. I don’t want someone making that decision for me.”

— Warwick Davis

But Star Wars and Harry Potter actor Warwick Davis said the decision was “patronising”.

The Hollywood star, known for his big screen roles as a short actor, said the venue was wrong to write out Doc, Dopey, Bashful, Grumpy, Sneezy, Sleepy and Happy from the traditional fairytale.

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“Saying that, I think it’s all a smokescreen anyway. The profit margins for pantos are not very big and it’s obviously much cheaper to involve schoolchildren than it is to pay lots of professional short actors.”

The dwarfs have gone by numerous names in various adaptations of the 19th century Grimm classic.

But they have almost always appeared as Snow White’s faithful comrades.

“It loses something if you don’t have Snow White’s dwarfs. I’ve been in a lot of pantos and I don’t think it’s offensive at all.”

Speaking to the Mercury yesterday, a spokeswoman for De Montfort Hall said the word dwarf is “generally not a word that people feel comfortable with” so the roles were dropped.

Warwick Davis Photo shoot, Cambridgeshire, Britain - 11 Mar 2010 Warwick Davis Photo shoot for his new book 'Size Matters Not'. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Terry Harris / Rex Features ( 1142742f )

“The excuse of ‘people’ being uncomfortable is a poor one – I doubt they’ve questioned the audience about whether or not they think the word dwarf is offensive.”

— Warwick Davis

Instead, the fairytale will have “friends”.

Warwick, 45, said that political correctness was a “smokescreen” and the decision was more likely to be financial. Read the rest of this entry »