ENTERTAINMENT

Fate: The Winx Saga Star Responds To Whitewashing Backlash

"It's really sad to see that fans were upset."

Fate: The Winx Saga star Elisha Applebaum has responded to the backlash about the series’s casting choices.

WATCH: Fate: The Winx Saga Official Trailer

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In case you missed it, Fate: The Winx Saga is a Netflix reboot of the classic 00’s cartoon, The Winx Club. The series follows a group of fairies—Bloom, Stella, Flora, Musa, Layla and Tecna—as they attend school and perfect their magical abilities, and save the universe from a council of witches. 

The Fate: The Winx Saga Backlash Explained

When the original animated series debuted in 2004, it was heralded for being ahead of its time in its representation. While Bloom and Stella were portrayed as white, the remaining girls were people of colour: Flora was Latinx, Aisha was Black and Musa was Asian. 

But, in Fate: The Winx Saga, Aisha is the only character of color. Flora, who was inspired in the original series by Jenifer Lopez, has been replaced with her cousin named Terra, and portrayed by white actress Eliot Salt. And Musa, whose design was influenced by Lucy Liu, is now played by Elisha Applebaum, an actress that while part-Singaporean, is also very white-passing. 

In a new interview with Digital Spy, Applebaum has responded to the backlash about the whitewashing casting choices, admitting that “it’s really sad to see that fans were upset with the casting.”

“I wasn’t involved in the casting but I hope that what they’ve seen and how I’ve portrayed Musa was to their liking.”

“I’ve only seen great reviews back from them so they’ve been open-minded from what I’ve created, so I hope that it continues to be that way.”

Elisha Applebaum
In Fate: The Winx Saga, Elisha Applebaum plays Musa (Instagram).

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Looking to the future of Fate: The Winx Saga, Applebaum’s co-star, Eliot Salt—Aka Terra—added that her “greatest hope” is to see Flora appear in season two.

“I think it’s really important that we do see [Terra and Flora together] and if we’re lucky enough to get a season two that’s my greatest hope,” she told Digital Spy. “I think the conversations that have happened around that have been really important and I’m really glad that they’ve happened.”

Fate: The Winx Saga is available to stream on Netflix.

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