Disney’s Upcoming Snow White Remake Sparks Controversy Over Lead Actress’s Comments, Rachel Zegler.
The eagerly awaited live-action remake of Disney’s iconic 1937 cartoon “Snow White” is stirring up social media discourse well before its release in March. Rachel Zegler, the film star, finds herself at the center of the controversy due to comments she made during interviews last year. Taken out of context, these interviews have ignited debates about feminism, representation, and the role of Disney princesses in modern storytelling.
Zegler, known for her role in “West Side Story,” has faced backlash for her remarks regarding the remake’s direction. In resurfaced interview clips from the D23 Expo in September, she discussed the reimagining of the classic fairytale.
Zegler stated that the storyline was being updated to reflect the fact that it’s “no longer 1937.” She emphasized that the modern adaptation would move away from the conventional prince-saving-princess trope. Instead, Snow White’s character would evolve into a leader focused on her own empowerment and aspirations, distinct from the prince’s role.
However, these remarks triggered criticism and claims of antifeminism from some corners of social media. Some viewers interpreted Zegler’s comments as an accidental assignment of antifeminist sentiments to the character.
A TikTok video with 9.5 million views argued that critiquing Disney princesses from a feminist perspective doesn’t consider the diversity of women’s desires and aspirations. This perspective advocates for allowing characters to embrace more traditional roles if they choose.
Another user pointed out that Disney princesses don’t necessarily need to be transformed into “girl bosses” to align with modern values. This sentiment highlights that the original stories weren’t intended to convey the same ideas as modern feminism. It also underscores the importance of diverse characters that represent a range of aspirations and personality traits.
Beyond the discussions on feminism, Zegler’s comments about her relationship with the original film have also drawn attention. In one interview, she admitted to having watched the original “Snow White” only once before being cast due to finding it scary as a child.
Some social media users expressed disappointment at this revelation, arguing that the actress should have had a deeper connection to the character before taking on the role. Others, however, came to her defense, stating that such personal preferences shouldn’t overshadow her talent and suitability for the part.
The controversy surrounding Zegler’s comments has also highlighted the toxic phenomenon of gatekeeping within fandoms. Some fans questioned her legitimacy as a Disney and Snow White fan based on her limited exposure to the original film. This gatekeeping sentiment suggests that being a “true fan” in terms of knowledge or frequency of watching should dictate casting decisions. Such notions were criticized, with many emphasizing that talent and suitability for the role should be the primary criteria for casting.
While the debates rage on, it’s important to note that this controversy also reflects the broader societal changes and expectations that influence how classic stories are retold. Zegler’s statements have ignited conversations about reimagining beloved characters through modern views, challenging traditional narrative structures, and embracing diversity in character traits and aspirations.