T Y P E C A S T I N G
Our contest for the best use of ``multicultural'' to mean ``good'' or ``worthy'' produced many amusing entries — and one clear winner. Mr. Tom Rood of Decatur, Illinois, sent in the following Knight-Ridder advance puff for Disney's forthcoming television Cinderella:
``Disney's newest Cinderella passes multicultural muster with flying colors. The title role belongs to singer-actress Brandy [who is black] . . . Her prince is Paolo Montalban, a newcomer of Hispanic descent. Milk-skinned Bernadette Peters has the role of the wicked stepmother whose two haughty daughters are played by white and black actresses [Ugly Sisters under the skin, presumably]. Whitney Houston is the fairy godmother, Jason Alexander [is] . . . the Prince's loyal steward, Lionel, and Whoopi Goldberg gets to be Queen Constantina.'' (My brackets.)
``We hope that this Cinderella, as we approach the millennium,'' says co-producer Debra Martin Chase, ``is reflective of what our society is today.''
Not quite. The Ugly Sisters — oops, sorry, ``haughty daughters'' — should surely be white and Asian. But the new Disney Cinderella is a brilliant reflection of what multiculturalism itself means in our society — i.e., a monocultural fairy tale involving people of different races and ethnic groups.
So, congratulations and the usual bottle of bubbly to Mr. Rood.