Maitreyi Ramakrishnan Blasts ‘Racists’ Objecting to Her Rumored Casting in Live-Action ‘Tangled’: ‘Y’all Still Need a Hobby’

The “Never Have I Ever” actress previously revealed that playing Rapunzel is one of her dream roles

Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Ever since rumors that “Never Have I Ever” actress Maitreyi Ramakrishnan or “Mean Girls” star Avantika Vandanapu could potentially play Rapunzel in a live-action “Tangled” started, both actresses have been on the receiving end of racist attacks online.

On Tuesday, Ramakrishnan responded to the noise by pointing out that the movie in question doesn’t even exist yet. “And they finally woke up to realize it was all just rumors and the sources never existed. good job!” she tweeted. “And to the racists, y’all still need a hobby FR.”

Ramakrishnan continued, “Like for any fancast you may have for any actor, South Asian or not, all the racist trolls can just stay basement dwellers. Y’all probably don’t even go outside to the movies anyway let alone touch grass.”

It’s important to note that Disney has not confirmed a live-action Rapunzel story nor a live-action “Tangled” remake. TikTokers and users of various social media platforms have reacted positively and negatively to reports that Ramakrishnan and Vandanapu have screen tested for the part (that doesn’t exist), with some vehemently insisting that only a blonde-haired, blue-eyed actress could fill Rapunzel’s shoes.

Vandanapu’s comments on Instagram have been filled with both support and outrage at the possibility. As one person pointed out, the idea that either actress might play the part of Rapunzel was born entirely of speculation.

One Instagram user wrote, “Y’all are so WEIRD in these comments. It’s a FANcast, as in some fans like her as Rapunzel, just how there’s Sabrina Carpenter fancasts and more. The live-action ‘Tangled’ isn’t even confirmed, literally just a rumor. Use your brains for a second.”

A fancast is what it sounds like: a purely speculative casting for a film or TV show decided upon by a fan of the source material.

The intensity with which so many social media users responded to the suggestions has pointed to a larger concern regarding the rate to which misinformation can spread online. BuzzFeed reported that the rumor that Vandanapu screen tested for the part appeared to be traced to the Twitter account @adoreschandler, who published a since-deleted tweet in March.

That tweet read, “Sources say Avantika and Milo Manheim have been screen testing as Rapunzel and Flynn Rider for the ‘Tangled’ Live-Action.”

From there, fans began to make their own fancasting videos and shared them on Tiktok. At some point, those fancasts turned into “truth” for so many people that both actresses were subjected to racist tweets and comments.

The original person on Twitter later tweeted, “Alright I deleted #that tweet I tweeted it for fun but people took it seriously and decided to be racist.”

Ramakrishnan has faced racism from Disney gatekeepers since 2023, when she first said in an interview that playing Rapunzel would be a dream role for her. She addressed the initial controversy — born out of her simply having the audacity to share something she would love to achieve — on Twitter.

The actress shared the song “I’ve Got a Dream” from “Tangled” and tweeted, “Anyways… the ‘mega fans’ who are pressed because I said I’ve got a dream role clearly didn’t listen to the soundtrack enough.”

“Not feeling bad about saying my dream and wishing for a shot to show what I got,” Ramakrishnan added. “Til then, I’m still just living my life trying to learn how to crochet.”

Two months later, Disney fansite Disinsider reported the unfounded rumor that not only was a live-action “Tangled” in the works, but that Florence Pugh was in contention for the lead role.

Vandanapu has not responded to the rumors nor the public response.


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