Today, Netflix dropped a trailer for their new series, Fate: The Winx Saga, which is actually a live-action version of the Nickelodeon show, Winx Club. However, instead of sparking nostalgia, the trailer sparked anger, frustration, and disappointment. It looks like Netflix has totally whitewashed the series, erasing any kind of inclusivity and representation that Nickelodeon introduced in the original series and replacing it with mainly white leads.
For those unfamiliar with Winx Club, it's a show about a group of fairies who attend Alfea, a magical boarding school in Otherwood (that gives us major X-Mansion and Charles Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters vibes).The show follows Bloom (Abigail Cowen), Musa (Elisha Applebaum), Aisha (Precious Mustapha), Terra (who's Flora, but Netflix decided to change her name; she's played by Eliot Salt), and Stella (Hannah van der Westhuysen), with Bloom as their team leader of sorts. “Bloom has the potential to be one of the most powerful fairies the world has ever known,” the trailer voiceover says.
The trailer shows Bloom as a young girl learning how to create fire from her own hands, and then transitions to show her as a teenager who's much more powerful. At Alfea, Bloom and her friends learn to cultivate their powers and fight entities who threaten them. The casting was slammed, especially with Flora and Musa, who are WOC in the original series.
The 'Winx Club' whitewash controversy, explained.
People are saying that Netflix has whitewashed the Winx Club live-action adaptation because Flora was originally Latina and Musa was original Asian, and in the Netflix series, that's not represented, with Elisha Applebaum as Musa, and Eliot Salt playing Flora (technically "Terra"). On top of whitewashing the cast, the show feels incredibly dark, compared to the cartoon show which was filled with brightness and sparkles.
"Not only did y’all whitewash 2 of the main characters, but where are the faerie aesthetics?!?! It looks like the Winx Club is about to be classmates with Sabrina," one person tweeted.
Another wrote, "Leave it up to Netflix to take a diverse cast of characters that was 3/6 girls of color, and whitewash everything down to one token girl for the live action."
"Hilarious people will defend netflix winx by saying its for breaking standards but see how the main girl is still white, pretty and the helper roles are either poc or different than standards, if its okay to whitewash musa and flora they could’ve make bloom a black or asian girl," a Twitter user pointed out.
It's clear that Twitter is filled with more criticism than praise over the Netflix Winx Club series, with some claiming the streaming platform ruined their childhood today.
The show's creator is Brian Young, who's the brain behind The Vampire Diaries (we can see the similarities). So far, Netflix hasn't issued a statement in regards to its whitewashing of characters, or any of the major changes made to the adaptation. You'll be able to stream the show (if you want) starting January 22.