A photo of actress Rachel Zegler next to an image of Snow White from Disney's original animated movie.

Rachel Zegler Snow White Controversy

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Updated Oct 05, 2023 at 06:29PM EDT by Zach.

Added Oct 05, 2023 at 05:18PM EDT by Brandon.

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Overview

Rachel Zegler Snow White Controversy refers to the backlash from various actions and comments in interviews said by the actress Rachel Zegler while promoting the upcoming Disney live-action remake of Snow White. The controversy revolves around the actress's contentious statements and the perception that she does not like the original animated film, with the remake being a deconstruction of it.

Background

In June 2021, Rachel Zegler was cast as Snow White in the live-action version of the movie, which was announced as being in production since 2016.

At the D23 conference in 2022, trailer footage was shown and Zegler was interviewed, during which she spoke out about the film and her role. On September 10th, 2022, this interview with Variety was then uploaded to the company's YouTube[1] channel. In the footage, Zegler describes her modern version of Snow White as no longer dreaming of true love or being saved by a Prince, leading to initial outbursts of people taking her words as criticism against the original film and its core plot elements, as well as some making comments about the casting decision[4] (shown below).



It all stems from a 2022 interview in which the West Side Story star described the original Disney animation as “weird,” called the prince a “stalker,” and spoke about switching up the narrative’s focus from true love to female empowerment.

Online Reaction

Over the course of 2023, with additional interviews coming out as the movie approached release, Zegler continued to speak to the differences between her portrayal and film compared to the original, which did not sit well with various fans of the original online.[5]

With the writers strike that took place on May 2nd, 2023, and was expanded to include actors on July 13th, clips from older interviews began to resurface as newer interviews were unable to be conducted per the strike. This led to increased scrutiny and backlash against Zegler among some online for her comments.

For example, on August 16th, YouTuber TheCriticalDrinker[2] uploaded a video about the various interviews Zegler has given, calling her a "PR disaster," and earning over 3.4 million views in two months (shown below).



Public pressure began to increase following the release of the video, with more people taking snippets of her interviews and framing them as Zegler being actively harmful to the movie (example seen below).


When it was confirmed that the upcoming Paddington 3 movie continued to do filming without Zegler, rumors began to swirl that Zegler was let go from the film due to the negative attention she received because of Snow White.[6] This led to further rumors that Zegler was fired from Snow White, with many different YouTubers and Disney content creators chiming in about inside sources claiming that the entire movie is undergoing reshoots because of the negative press Zegler caused the film, though these are unconfirmed.

On September 30th, 2023, YouTuber Celeb Talk[3] uploaded a video in which they go over this theory and how Jenna Ortega is purportedly now Snow White in the middle of secret reshoots (shown below).



On October 4th, a post was made to the /r/OutOfTheLoop[7] subreddit inquiring about the "hate/negativity towards Rachel Zegler" the OP was seeing online, with top answer stating:

She was cast as Snow White in the Live action remake from Disney. There have been clips taken from a few interviews about the role where she has had some very questionable responses. She talks negatively about some of the themes of the movie and people did not like that.

Here is the main clip that has been circulating

Including here where she calls the prince a stalker

As another commenter has mentioned, there is also discourse because Snow White's race seems to be a key part to her character. As the story is originally a German folk tale and it also includes a line stating that Snow White is said to have had “skin as white as snow" people have questioned why a Hispanic woman was cast to portray her. As in most cases of when a race is changed in a story, you have people with genuine criticisms but unfortunately also you have the louder and hateful kind of people speaking up as well.

Various Reactions

@mohalanahenahe Rachel Zegler is NO LONGER Snow White! #disney #disneyliveactionremake #rachelzegler #snowwhite ♬ original sound – mohala

@szedits.x #SNOWWHITE – so basically shes telling women you shouldnt be in love and have to be a leader to be a feminist and more modern?? #snowwhiteandthesevendwarfs #snowwhite #rachelzegler #rachelzegleredit #szeditsx #viraledit #disney #disneyedit #foryou #fyp ♬ original sound – 🌷
@nuttybutter96 If you hate the original this much, why would you want to make the remake. Pls make it make sense. #greenscreenvideo #snowwhite #rachelzegler #galgadot #disney #disneyliveaction #movie i hate this kind of #fakefeminism ♬ original sound – Nuttybutter🧈

@charlesperalo

♬ Peralo Is Strange () – Jon Sober

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