But now, it seems, the tables have turned. Teen Vogue (of course) penned its own review of the acclaimed adaptation of the American classic and, it turns out, the Civil War era epic about a family of women struggling against the misogyny, gender-based expectations, and institutionalized sexism of their time, is just far too white for our time.
“It’s time that classics that are constantly remade to better incorporate diversity,” Teen Vogue’s astute film critic, Natalie de Vera Obedos, says. And “Little Women” must be the first to go.
Casting any of the female leads as “racebent” — that is, filling the roles with a non-white actor — would be difficult, de Vera Obedos acknowledges, because the film’s protagonists — four sisters, Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy, and their mother — are all related. But, de Vera Obedos says, there’s at least one character, Laurie, the love interest of two of the sisters, who could have been portrayed by a person of color...
“While many are excited to see Timothée [Chalamet] bring this character to life, his iteration and many of the previous films have failed to properly contextualize Laurie during this time period,” de Vera Obedos writes. “In the original novel, Laurie is described as a young man with ‘Curly black hair, brown skin,’ and ‘big black eyes’ (Alcott 42) — he is canonically half-Italian. It is through Laurie that Little Women offered Greta a very unique opportunity that she could have taken: Laurie could have easily been played by someone non-white.”