The stars of Netflix’s Fate: The Winx Saga have responded to criticism about a lack of diversity among the main cast.
The young adult drama is based on the popular Italian cartoon Winx Club, which follows the adventures of a group of fairies as they master their magic at a magical school.
Netflix‘s live-action version has come under fire for a perceived case of whitewashing, with fans of the original show arguing that the role of Musa (played by Elisha Applebaum) should have been given to an Asian actress.
There has also been controversy over the decision not to include Latina fairy Flora in the first season, but instead creating a brand new white character named Terra (Eliot Salt), who is quickly revealed to be her cousin.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press, Applebaum said: “It’s really sad to see that fans were upset with the casting. I wasn’t involved in the casting but I hope that what they’ve seen and how I’ve portrayed Musa was to their liking.
“I’ve only seen great reviews back from them so they’ve been open-minded from what I’ve created, so I hope that it continues to be that way.”
Salt also acknowledged the criticism that Fate: The Winx Saga has received and revealed that she hopes to see Flora introduced to the story if the show returns for another season.
“I think it’s really important that we do see [Terra and Flora together] and if we’re lucky enough to get a season two that’s my greatest hope,” she said. “I think the conversations that have happened around that have been really important and I’m really glad that they’ve happened.”
Co-star Precious Mustapha, who plays water fairy Aisha, went on to praise the show for having a diverse cast, but admitted that more work could be done.
“I’ve always been someone who always looked for people who look like me on-screen,” she said. “That’s few and far between. The industry is getting to a point where we’re starting to see more diversity on-screen, but it’s obviously not enough and there’s still more work to be done.
“It’s really nice to be on a show where there is a lot of diversity, there could be more and hopefully if we get a season two there will be a lot of that.”
Mustapha added: “It’s nice because I know my younger self would feel really happy and I’d feel seen if I saw someone who looked like me on screen, so I think it’s incredibly important that those conversations are being had and we should keep them going.”
Fate: The Winx Saga is currently the number one show on Netflix’s top ten series list in the UK, but there’s no word yet on whether the story will continue in a follow-up season.