West Side Story Star Rachel Zegler Responds to Hatred of Snow White
West Side Story star Rachel Zegler is reacting to criticism surrounding her casting as Snow White in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake.
disneythe upcoming live-action adaptation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will place a person of Latin descent in the shoes of the iconic Disney princess, an honor that Rachel Zegler cherishes. However, despite the personal excitement, Zegler recalls the social media backlash to the casting and the backlash she experienced getting into the role.
the West Side Story The star shot to fame with the Steven Spielberg-directed musical and then landed the role of the princess in Disney and Marc Webb’s upcoming film. Casting Zegler as Snow White seemed like a step in the right direction for the studio, looking to diversify its portrayal of its Disney princess, but many felt the casting wasn’t appropriate for the role.
“When it was announced, it was a huge thing that was trending on Twitter for days, because everyone was angry,” Zegler said during Variety’s Actors on Actors chat with Spider-Man: No Coming Home starring Andrew Garfield. The 20-year-old emerged for the lead role in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in June 2021, which delighted director Marc Webb. Zegler’s vocal talents were just the tip of the iceberg for Webb, who pointed to additional characteristics of the star that would help rekindle the joy of the classic Disney story.
“Never in a million years would I have imagined this would be a possibility for me. Normally you don’t see a Snow White of Latin descent. Even though Snow White is really a big deal in Spanish speaking countries “, said Zegler. . the original Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs The Disney animated film was released in 1938 and became an incredible success. Subsequent adaptations over the years have attempted to uniquely tell the story, but have continued to lay down hints of a particular identity. Zegler’s justifiable excitement is warranted, especially after being cast in a role that didn’t see much diversity in her portrayal.
“Blanca Nieves is a huge icon, whether you’re talking about the Disney cartoon or just different iterations and Grimm’s fairy tale and all the stories that come with it. But you don’t particularly see people who look like me or who are playing roles like that,” Zegler said. The weight of the moment is no stranger to the West Side Story star, understanding the responsibility she bears towards others who share her identity. Though disheartening, Zegler doesn’t let the backlash take up space in her mind, but instead wants to move forward with love. “At the end of the day, I have a job to do that I’m really looking forward to. I’m becoming a Latina princess.”
White as snow is in the early stages of development but is no stranger to criticism from various angles. Nonetheless, Disney’s attempt to diversify its princesses should be celebrated, not ridiculed for its insensitivity. Zegler stepped into the role because her charisma and talents match what Disney envisions for the iconic character, also opening a window for others to see themselves in usually remote parts of their identity.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is currently in development.
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