Disney Recasts The Actor Cast As David In Live Action 'Lilo & Stitch' After Racial Slurs Resurface

Cha Miñoza
Lilo & Stitch screenshot
youtube | Oh My Disney

Controversy has plagued the upcoming live-action remake of Lilo & Stitch early in its production. People are NOT happy with several actors, prompting Disney to recast one newcomer because of his resurfaced racial slurs.

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One Newcomer Actor Is Out

The role of David Kawena, the love interest of Nani, originally went to Kahiau Machado. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Machado was quietly replaced with another newcomer, Kaipo Dudoit.

N-Word Controversy

During Disney's vetting process, it was uncovered that Machado used the n-word in a Spotify playlist. “Disney’s vetting process, previous posts in which the actor used racial slurs were uncovered on social media,” as per the report.

Twitter Users Investigated

Twitter screenshot
twitter | @ctrlcentered

Eagle-eyed Twitter users were quick to investigate and found out that the playlist in question was scrubbed but could still be viewed on the Internet Archive.

He Compared Himself To Rosa Parks

An old Instagram post, which has since been deleted, also showed Machado comparing himself to civil rights activist Rosa Parks.

People Are Not Having It

People were NOT happy about the news, which quickly went viral on social media. Many took to Twitter to express their dismay.

Too Light Skinned?

There are also allegations of colorism, as many noticed the actors casted have noticeably lighter skin than their character counterparts.

How TikTok Reacted

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TikTok | @pisceswithasideoffries

After user @pisceswithasideoffries pointed out the obvious difference in skin color in a viral TikTok, which has now racked up over 1 million views, many TikTokers agreed that they won't be watching if the characters are white-washed.

Meet The New David

In light of the controversy, the role was given to Hawaiian Native Kaipo Dudoit, who seems to be more popular among fans.

The Perfect David

Instagram comments screenshot
instagram | Kaipo Dudoit

Social media feedback for the new David is overwhelmingly positive. Many congratulated the young actor for his new role. "Perfect David casting," one fan commented on his Insta account.

He Is Also A Hula Dancer

Prior to his foray into acting, Dudoit worked as a model. He is also a proud hula dancer and has performed in several theater stages.

Colorism Debate Around Nani's Casting

Another actor who has caught the ire of netizens is Sydney Agudong, who is playing Lilo's older sister, Nani.

She Was Born In Hawaii

While the young actress was born and raised on the island of Kaui, many feel she is "too light-skinned" to play a Native Hawaiian character.

Some Native Hawaiians Are Offended

Twitter screenshot
twitter | @LittleMerbeing

A Native Hawaiian Disney fan did a little digging and found out Agudong's ethnic background. The Twitter user revealed that she is half Caucasian and half Filipino.

"Slap In The Face"

Twitter screenshot
twitter | @LittleMerbeing

In the long thread, the Twitter user stated Agudong's mom being a realtor was a "slap in the face", as many natives have been dealing with the negative effects of gentrification in their land.

Intense Backlash Online

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instagram | Sydney Agudong

There has been intense backlash online over the colorism allegations. People flocked to Agudong's Instagram account to express their frustration. "You are not Nani," one person commented.

Keeping Quiet Amid Controversy

The young actress and her team have kept quiet amid the controversy. There has also been no official word from Disney if there are further changes to be made in casting.

Will Cobra Bubbles Be Included?

Cobra Bubbles screenshot
youtube | Disney

To add to the mounting controversies, there were also rumors that Cobra Bubbles, who was voiced by Ving Rhames in the 2002 animated film, would be replaced by a new character.

Courtney B. Vance To Play Cobra

To quell the uproar, Disney shut down the rumor and recently announced that Courtney B. Vance will be playing the beloved social worker.

Production Has Started

Lilo and Stitch gif

Controversies aside, the live-action remake is still one of the most highly anticipated films of Disney. Rounding off the cast are Zach Galifianakis as Jumba and Billy Magnussen as Pleakley. Production is officially underway in Hawaii, with no official release date yet.