Producers of a highly anticipated TV reboot of Monkey Magic have hit back at claims of whitewashing after a petition was started to boycott the show.
The remake, New Legends Of Monkey, is being made by Netflix, ABC and TVNZ and is set to be a fresh take on the iconic 80s show.
However, trouble started when the show, based on a Chinese novel called Tales Of The Monkey King, was revealed to have only one actor in the principal cast who was of Asian descent.
Speaking to news.com.au, Craig Irvin, who wrote and directed episodes for the show, said the reboot utilised a lot of "diverse ethnicities."
"This mythical world we've set it in has a lot of diverse ethnicities," he said.
"We took elements of the original story and developed it and pushed it in different directions."
Of the principal cast, only one actor, Chai Hanson who plays the protagonist Monkey, is of Asian descent with his father hailing from Thailand.
The cast features two Kiwis, Luciane Buchanan who plays Tripitaka and Josh Thompson who plays Pigsy. Then there's Emilie Cocquerel (Sandy) who is of Australian and French descent.
Craig added: "The cast is really diverse - more than half of them are non-European. We have cast members who are Chinese-Thai, south Korean, Maori, Tongan and European. When you see this, you'll see the world is incredibly varied."
When ABC Me posted a sneak preview of the series to their Facebook page in December, fans were quick to point out the lack of Asian actors.
"Another westernised portrayal of a Chinese story. None of the main actors appear Chinese or even Asian. Well done ABC," one fan commented.
"Hrm..... Asian story using non Asian actors... that sounds like a recipe for success. Just look at Ghost in the Shell and that live action version of Dragonball," came another criticism.