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Actress Avantika Vandanapu Gets Tangled in Racist Attacks Following Rumors of Being Cast as Rapunzel in Disney Film

Actress Avantika Vandanapu Gets Tangled in Racist Attacks Following Rumors of Being Cast as Rapunzel in Disney Film

  • The online hate began when a post wrongfully claimed that the Indian American was to play the iconic blonde character in a live-action remake of “Tangled.”
https://twitter.com/noiwontdrawyou/status/1775634098188419148

Indian American actress Avantika Vandanapu has been facing a barrage of racist and offensive comments on social media as rumors spread about her being cast as Rapunzel in a live-action Disney remake “Tangled.”

What makes the online trolling appealing is the fact that the 19-year-old actress, who goes only by her first name, hasn’t been cast in the role, Buzzfeed News reported, adding that “a live-action adaptation of ‘Tangled’ isn’t even thought to be in production at the moment. While rumors of a live-action “Tangled” first emerged back in 2020, BuzzFeed said the film has “never been confirmed or officially announced by Disney.”

According to BuzzFeed News, the online rumors seems to have begun with a now deleted post on X by a user named “miles” — “Sources say Avantika and Milo Manheim have been screen testing as Rapunzel and Flynn Rider for the Tangled Live-Action,” the post read. 

There was also “fan cast videos being posted to TikTok,” BuzzFeed News said. A recent upload showed photos of Avantika alongside screenshots Rapunzel, and photos of Canadian actor and singer Avan Jogia next to pictures of Flynn Rider, a fictional character who appears in the Disney film. “Hear me out, a tangled live action set in India,” the caption for the video read. 

The video “racked up more than 100k likes,” BuzzFeed News said. But it also it “attracted negative comments from people criticizing the casting decision. Another video posted to TikTok showed a white woman crying into the camera. “Me pretending the little girl in me isn’t so upset by the live action Repunzel [sic] casting,” she wrote. 

“Unpopular opinion Rapunzel is a blonde white girl,” wrote one TikTok user, adding, “sorry but a brown girl with long black hair is NOT Rapunzel.”

“The whole plot of the movie revolves around Rapunzel’s long BLOND hair. It is a GERMAN fairy tale about a girl, held captive in a tower because of her magical hair. Not okay!,” read another post on X.

Her Instagram account wasn’t spared as well with posts like “Ur not meant for Rapunzel I’m sorry, u dont look anything like her.”

There were many who supported her as well. “If yall think Avantika Vandanapu shouldn’t play as rapunzel, we can’t be friends,” one user posted on X. 

A user named lili urged people to “not turn a blind eye to racism. we need to amplify bipoc talent now more than ever.”

Avantika was most recently seen in “Mean Girls, as Karen Shetty, putting a new spin on the dim-witted, easy-going, and flirty character first brought to life by Amanda Seyfried. She made her television debut in 2018 and starred as Monyca in “Diary of a Future President” on Disney+ . She was the voice of Kamala in Disney Junior’s “Mira, Royal Detective.” She was also seen in “Senior Year” (2022) , “Moxie” (2021), and “Spin,” a coming-of-age movie about a young girl’s quest to delve into her identity, making her the first South Asian lead in a Disney production. She will be next seen in the supernatural horror film “Horrorscope,” which releases in theaters on May 10. 

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