While Megyn Kelly’s controversial comments about blackface for Halloween has cost her dearly, a Disney film star has a refreshing take on a costume idea.
“Moana” actress Auli’i Cravalho is going against the politically correct trend and said it’s “absolutely appropriate” for fans to dress up as any of the animated film’s Polynesian characters.
In fact, the Hawaii-born actress who is the voice of Moana encouraged fans to show their love of the film “in the spirit of love.”
“I think it’s absolutely appropriate,” the 17-year-old told People. “It’s done in the spirit of love and for Disney and for the little ones who just want to dress up as their favorite heroine, I’m all for it.”
Her comments are a far cry from the controversy that erupted in 2016 when Disney came under fire for another character’s costume.
Disney characters have long served as Halloween costume inspiration for kids and adults alike. But one of Disney’s more recent movies, Moana, has sparked controversy among parents over whether dressing as the Polynesian princess or her pal Maui is culturally appropriate.
In 2016 — the year the animated film came out — Disney even pulled a Maui costume after customers deemed it racist. “The team behind Moana has taken great care to respect the cultures of the Pacific Islands that inspired the film, and we regret that the Maui costume has offended some,” Disney said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE at the time. “We sincerely apologize.”
The full-body zip-up costume with tribal tattoos and the appearance of brown skin was pulled by Disney.
But Cravalho had a decidedly different message for “Moana” fans of all ages: “Go for it!”
“I would encourage anyone who wants to dress up as a wayfinder who journeys beyond her reef to figure out who she truly is, I totally support you. Go for it!” she said. “Parents can dress up as Moana, too.”
The actress even admitted she would have dressed as the character for Halloween but “I myself have tried to find a Moana costume, [but] I have not been able to find one in my size!” she revealed.
While she appreciates the Disney heroine’s positive message for young fans, Cravalho is not in agreement with the latest trend of bashing the Disney princesses that have come before.
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“I think each of the Disney princesses are just pretty reflective of their time,” Cravalho told People.
“This day and age, we definitely need a heroine who is the hero of her own story, who journeys beyond what her parents have done, who breaks the mold,” she added. “That’s what we need right now and hopefully what we will continue to see later on, but there’s still things to be learned from other Disney princesses that we’ve come from.”
The young actress offered another bit of insight, saying it is “just like our parents.”
“We’re not like our parents and yet we can see the similarities and differences. We can always be grateful for what we’ve learned from.”