While Scott’s performance has been praised by critics and fans alike, and her new original song has become a breakout hit, news of her initial casting was met with some backlash online. There were calls for the character to played by someone of Arab heritage – where Scott is of British and Indian descent. Massoud discussed all in a new interview with the New York Times.
“It’s a funny thing that’s happening online,” he said.
“The Middle Easterners want Aladdin to be a Middle Eastern story, and the Indians want Aladdin to be an Indian story.
“The truth is, it’s really a folk tale from the 1800s, and Agrabah is a fictional place that’s a culmination of India and Asia and the Middle East.”
He added: “In fact, in the original folk tale, Aladdin was actually of Chinese descent.
“So what we wanted to do with this was represent as many different cultures from that part of the world as possible.”
Scott, meanwhile, has spoken about the impact her Jasmine is going to have on the next generation of Disney lovers.
She told Cinema Blend: “I’m realising more and more and more ‘Wow’ – just the impact that these characters had on my generation growing up.
“The opportunity to potentially inspire the next generation is just mind-blowing.
“I think I felt it when we were in Iman. We went to a screening and literally just the joy… there was a bunch of kids, and they’d just seen the movie and all these little girls just attacked me.
“And I was just like, ‘Yes, give me the love! Gimme the love!’
“But that was the moment that I was like, ‘Wow.’ I now feel like, you know, ‘Her.’ So that was pretty incredible.”
Aladdin has been a box office success so far, despite mixed reviews.
Aladdin is out now.