Disney Studios has announced that it is searching for a Pacific Islander/Pasifika actor to play Moana in the upcoming live-action adaptation of the animated film.
Auli’i Cravalho, who voiced Moana in the original film, recently announced on Instagram that she would not reprise the role.
“When I was cast as Moana at 14, it wonderfully changed my life and started my career,” she said in the video post. “In this live-action retelling, I will not be reprising the role. I believe it is absolutely vital the casting accurately represents the characters and stories we want to tell.”
Disney has previously come under fire for colorist casting of the Lilo & Stitch live-action remake. Fans and advocates were frustrated that they chose to cast actors who had Native Hawaiian ancestry but were largely white-passing. Many praised Cravalho for her decision in light of the recent controversy. Cravalho will help search for the new Moana as an executive producer on the film.
The Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment posted a photo of the casting call on Twitter. Those interested in the role should contact the casting department at [email protected].
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