‘Mufasa: The Lion King’ Director Barry Jenkins Responds To Criticism Over Disney Prequel

Barry Jenkins is defending himself over criticism for helming the Disney prequel Mufasa: The Lion King.

After the trailer for The Lion King prequel dropped, fans of the Moonlight director took shots at him over his involvement with the film.

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One social media user on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, said Jenkins was “too good and talented for this Iger’s soulless machine.”

“There is nothing soulless about The Lion King,” Jenkins replied. “For decades children have sat in theaters all over the world experiencing collective grief for the first time, engaging Shakespeare for the first time, across aisles in myriad languages. A most potent vessel for communal empathy.”

Another user criticized Jenkins for his response, claiming the filmmaker wouldn’t have replied like that when he premiered Moonlight at TIFF.

“Bruh what kind of logic is that?” Jenkins replied. “How about this, here are a few videos from the ‘same Barry Jenkins who premiered Moonlight‘ (as you put it) showing some of the things I was doing in my spare time AT THE SAME TIME I was writing Moonlight.”

Jenkins presented the variety of work he has done over the years, adding in a last message, “Children have figured prominently in every single one of the projects from Moonlight til’ now without exception. Like… BRUH. You can say whatever you want about the film but telling ME that something I SAID about why something is meaningful to me for children is CAP? Nah bruh.”

Mufasa: The Lion King sees Rafiki tell the story of Mufasa to his granddaughter Kiara, voiced by Blue Ivy Carter. Aaron Pierre voices the titular character with Kelvin Harrison Jr., Mads Mikkelsen, and Thandiwe Newton, who are also part of the voice cast. Beyoncé is returning to reprise her role of Nala, along with Donald Glover (Simba), Seth Rogen (Timon) and Billy Eichner (Pumbaa). The film is being released on December 20.

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