‘Once Upon A Time’ Casts Alexandra Metz As Rapunzel, Encounters Racist Backlash

Once Upon a Time has picked Alexandra Metz as its Rapunzel, and the decision is generating quite a backlash online.

The ABC show about fairy tale characters come to life has picked Originals alum Metz to play Rapunzel in the 14th episode of the current season. Though she is only set for one appearance, Once Upon a Time has a tendency to call back characters in future episodes so Metz could be on the show for longer.

The decision to pick an African-American actress to play a character that has been typically portrayed as fair-skinned and blonde has garnered some attention from fans, both good and bad.

Once Upon a Time has not shied away from unusual casting decisions in the past. In October the show announced that it had cast shock rocker Marilyn Manson as the voice of the villain shadow for next season.

Though he is known mostly for his hard rock music, Marilyn Manson also branched out into movies, contributing to the soundtrack for Resident Evil. His creepy vocals won over Once Upon a Time producers, who cast him as the demonic spirit that works for Peter Pan and helps kidnap children.

Alexandra Metz has been met with enthusiasm by some, with fans praising Once Upon a Time for its outside-the-box choice that gives young African-American girls someone to look up to.

But others have criticized the decision, with responses ranging from polite disagreement to downright racism.

It matters because you’re casting a character inaccurately. Casting a black woman to play the part of Rapunzel, makes no sense whatsoever.

— Annie (@beautychandler) December 5, 2013

Alexandra Metz will make her debut as Rapunzel on Once Upon a Time in Episode 14, which airs when the show returns from its winter hiatus in March.