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.
Rapunzel is black on OUAT and she is the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen.
— Jordan. (@Capletron) December 6, 2013
It was a small shock that they casted a black rapunzel, but I’m ok with that :) will give the show some more originality
— Carrie♥#SwanFire♥JMo (@Oncer4Life29) December 5, 2013
But others have criticized the decision, with responses ranging from polite disagreement to downright racism.
A black Rapunzel? “Rapunzel Rapunzel let down your weave!” Lol jk. Should be very interesting to see how they create her character. #OUaT
— Callista Wert (@skizzlerz) December 5, 2013
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
BLACK RAPUNZEL IN OUAT! just think of the weaves
— Connor Radcliffe (@Condoginnit) 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.