Netflix's The Winx Saga Receives Backlash Amidst White Washing Claims From Viewers
Netflix has been on a roll with reboots and remakes, but one isn’t getting as much praise. Winx Club fans were quick to call out some significant differences in Netflix’s The Winx Saga remake.
Animation is a beautiful medium that allows for creativity and out of this world effects. Casting is also more diverse in cartoons as illustrators can create a whole new world of people for a show or movie.
90s Babies enjoyed watching Winx Club and seeing a fun and diverse group of fairy hybrid girls kick butt. Unfortunately, many viewers realized that something is significantly different about the live-action remake.
What Is Winx?
Winx Club is an animated fantasy television series that aired in the early 2000s. The show was created by Italian animator Iginio Straffi who referenced pop culture and even celebrities for his characters.
Steffi’s Winx Club animations are considered ahead of their time to include a diverse female cast. The fantasy genre didn’t have characters from varied ethnic backgrounds like Winx Club did back then.
The original characters included fashionable fairy friends named Bloom, Flora, Tecna, Aisha, Musa, and Stella. Only two of the chic college student fairies were white, while the others represented different backgrounds.
The light-hearted series about fairy girls saving the world is a cultural phenomenon with a significant legacy. As a result, fans looked forward to a remake that lived up to the original’s standards but were disappointed.
The Original Character’s Backgrounds
Winx Club’s culturally diverse cast ensured that all young women and girls felt represented. Stella and Bloom were the only white fairies in the show, while the other girls were mystical fairies of color.
Flora was a Hispanic fairy with dark tan skin, green eyes, and brown hair with blonde highlights. The show’s creator revealed that Flora’s character was inspired by Latinx pop star and actress Jennifer Lopez.
A famous actress also inspired Musa’s character. Iginio Staffi revealed that the Asian fairy took inspiration from the stylish and wildly talented Chinese American Charlie’s Angels actress Lucy Liu.
Aisha is the only black fairy in the cartoon, and we’re glad that Netflix kept her character in the adaptation. Unlike many Netflix casting mishaps, the streaming service chose a dark-skinned black girl to head this role.
At first glance, one can notice that many things from the live-action show are different from the animation. Not only are the fairies less fashionably dressed than usual, but one of them is missing entirely.
Many Latinx fans expressed their disappointment at the erasure of Flora, who is a Hispanic fairy. The actress who plays Musa is white-passing and barely has her own storyline in the series as well.
Netflix has recently been under fire for making young adult shows too explicit and mature. Fans gave the same criticism to The Winx Saga, which was initially intended for a younger audience.
Although Netflix’s casting of Aisha was excellent, it’s challenging not to see the actress be tokenized. We hope that Netflix understands the importance of casting and the effects of whitewashing after seeing the backlash.