Peter Ostrum and Gene Wilder in "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" (Paramount Pictures/Guy Woodhouse)

Charlie from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" was originally black

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" was whitewashed Roald Dahl's widow says


Leigh C. Anderson
September 15, 2017 6:23PM (UTC)

According to Roald Dahl's widow, Charlie Bucket, the young hero from the writer's beloved 1964 book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," apparently underwent a race change.

In a BBC interview on Wednesday,  Felicity Dahl explained that Roald’s original idea of Charlie "was a little black boy," a notion she claimed was "influenced by America."

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The revelation comes at an interesting moment as whitewashing in film has recently become a topic of heated debate. In recent years films including "Doctor Strange," "Ghost in the Shell" and "Aloha" have all used white actors to play roles that were traditionally characters of color or claimed to be multiracial. Recently, actor Ed Skrein left the forthcoming "Hellboy" reboot after signing on to play a traditionally Asian character.


Leigh C. Anderson

Leigh C. Anderson is an editorial intern at Salon.

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