Over 5,000 people have signed a petition asking Warner Bros to stop casting white actors in non-white roles, as Rooney Mara is tipped for the Tiger Lily role in the forthcoming film, Pan. Pan is based on JM Barrie's classic novel, Peter Pan.
The Mexican-Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o has also been in contention for the role. Nyong'o won a best supporting actress Oscar for 12 Years a Slave. French actress Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue is the Warmest Colour) has also been listed as a possible contender.
"This casting choice is particularly shameful for a children's movie," said the petition. "Telling children their role models must all be white is unacceptable."
In JM Barrie’s classic novel, Tiger Lily is depicted as an Indian (Native American) princess who is the daughter of Great Big Little Panther, chief of the Picaninny tribe.
Pan is set to star Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard, Garrett Hedlund as the younger Hook, and Levi Miller as Peter Pan. The film will be directed by Joe Wright and is due in cinemas in July 2015.