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How can we fix the whitewashing in ‘Fate: The Winx Saga?’

Netflix only fixed half of their whitewashing problem in 'Fate: The Winx Saga,' but how can they really turn it around?

Images via Netflix

One of Netflix’s biggest new shows is Fate: The Winx Saga which is originally based on a cartoon by the name of Winx Club. Both are centered around a young fairy named Bloom and her group of friends as they try to understand their magic and keep their loved ones safe from danger. However, Fate: The Winx Saga is darker and more mature. The second season was recently released on the streaming platform and did really well, so fans are expecting a season three announcement any day now. Both the first and second seasons were hits among fans, but the fans of the original cartoon were not as pleased.

Winx Club was praised for its diverse group of characters and the interesting detail that they were all based on prominent actresses and/or singers that were popular in the early 2000’s. When Fate premiered, though, it was apparent that this version did not pride itself on diversity. Everyone in the main group was suddenly white except for one character, Aisha. Both Flora and Musa, original characters from the cartoon, were also women of color. Flora was a Latina while Musa was Asian, and the first season of the show did not reflect this. In fact, fans discovered that the new Earth fairy, Terra, was originally named Flora until they cast a white woman in the role.

This whitewashing issue was mainly sorted out in season two as they did introduce Terra’s cousin, Flora. She was played by Latina actress, Paulina Chávez. However the frustration remained on why we couldn’t have had Flora from the beginning. Moving on from that though, since it seems the producers and the rest of the Fate team tried to do the right thing, we’re still left with a white actress playing Musa, an Asian character.

The character of Musa is based on the famous actress, Lucy Liu, so there’s no mistaking her identity as Asian. Not only this, but in the original cartoon, we see many Asian influences in Musa’s clothing, culture, and her home planet of Melody. It’s no secret that Musa was supposed to be Asian, and casting her as a white woman is both disrespectful and wrong. Recently, Winx Club fans even started a hashtag on Twitter, #MusaIsEastAsian. Tweets included why/how Musa had been whitewashed as well as other casting choices that could replace the current white actress.

The question is, how can we fix this? There’s already been two seasons with a white actress as Musa, but that doesn’t make it right, so it shouldn’t just be left alone. There are a few theories and ideas I’ve seen thrown about, but these are the best ones in my opinion. In Winx Club, there’s another fairy called Tecna, who is the fairy of technology. She’s white in the original cartoon, however they could cast an Asian actress to play her in Fate to at least try and add that missing representation as well as another fan favorite character from the cartoon.

The better option is to go a more complicated route. In Winx Club, there are the Trix, Icy, Darcy and Stormy are three evil witches who are trying to take down the main fairies. In Fate, we see Beatrix, an air fairy with a specialization in electricity. She’s very similar to the cartoon’s Stormy and also has an evil side to her as we’ve seen these past two seasons. At the end of season two, it was revealed that she has two sisters: Isobel and Darcy. In Winx Club, Darcy has mind powers much like the mind fairies in Fate, so what if there was a big reveal that this Musa is actually Darcy in disguise and the real Musa was captured? This would give the showrunners the opportunity to recast the character properly without causing such an abrupt shift in the original six fairies.

While the best option would’ve been to cast it right from the beginning, unfortunately we’re past that point. All we can do now is give suggestions and try and get our voices heard by Fate‘s team. It worked with Flora, so hopefully it can also work with Musa.

About the author

Ashlie Coon

A Maryland native with a BA in Theatre Performance as well as an AA in Communications. She spent three years in high school yearbook and participated in extracurriculars such as newspaper, creative writing and theatre. She is an avid Marvel, anime and Teen tv fan as shown in her work.