‘Snow White’ star Rachel Zegler stirs anger after dissing original

‘Criticizing Disney princesses is not feminist’

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Rachel Zegler, who leads Disney’s upcoming live-action Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs remake, has found herself ducking for cover after old comments she made about the 1937 original resurfaced on social media.

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Zegler, who also starred in Steven Spielberg’s 2021 West Side Story revamp and this year’s Shazam! sequel, was trending Tuesday morning as Snow White fans picked apart remarks the 22-year-old made about the classic cartoon while promoting the film in 2022.

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“The original cartoon came out in 1937, and very evidently so. There’s a big focus on her love story with a guy who literally stalks her. Weird! Weird! So we didn’t do that this time,” Zegler told Extra TV in a viral red carpet interview.

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“We have a different approach to what I’m sure a lot of people will assume is a love story, just because we cast a guy in the movie,” she continued. “It’s one of those things that I think everyone is going to have their assumptions about what it’s going to be. But it’s really not about the love story at all, which is really, really wonderful. Whether or not she finds love along the way is anybody’s guess.”

Zegler then suggested that the Prince Charming character (played by Andrew Burnap) “could get cut,” adding: “Who knows? It’s Hollywood, baby.”

On X, formerly Twitter, some followers accused Zegler of meddling too much with the original.

“She is just too passionate about how horrible a classic is. It’s a classic for a reason. It provides us with realities and the beliefs of the particular moment in time it represents,” one person wrote, with another adding, “I think I she intended to audition for Grumpy and went through the wrong door.”

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“I’ve never seen an actor bad mouth the original, when they’re doing a remake,” a third person observed on TikTok. “They’re usually really gracious and appreciative of what’s come before.”

Others took issue with Zegler’s characterization of the Prince as a “stalker.”

“It’s called ‘courting’ but, obviously, she wouldn’t know anything about that,” one person wrote, chiding the actress.

“What is the point of the film then?” another asked. “Why call it a fairy tale when it’s a horror movie?”

As Zegler’s Extra interview found new life online, fans started to pick apart other interviews she conducted last year.

“I was scared of the original version. I think I watched it once and never picked it up again. I’m being so serious,” Zegler told Entertainment Weekly in a chat alongside Gal Gadot, who plays the Evil Queen.

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“Why would anyone go see a Snow White movie staring an actress that really hates Snow White?” one person asked.

Critics also zeroed in on Zegler’s comments to Variety, which TikTok user @CosyWithAngie referred to as “pseudo-feminism.”

“I just mean that it’s no longer 1937,” Zegler told the trade. “We absolutely wrote a Snow White that … she’s not going to be saved by the Prince, and she’s not going to be dreaming about true love. She’s going to be dreaming about becoming the leader she knows she can be and that her late father told her that she could be if she was fearless, fair, brave and true.”

“Criticizing Disney princesses is not feminist. Not every woman is a leader. Not every woman wants to be a leader. Not every woman wants or craves power,” @CosyWithAngie said in a TikTok clip that has been viewed 9.8 million times. “And that’s OK. It is not anti-feminist to want to fall in love, to want to get married, to want to stay at home, to be soft, to want to be a homemaker. None of these things make you less valuable as a person or a woman.”

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“As if you can’t have a love interest and be a strong leader at the same time,” another critic seconded.

Other fans of the original questioned Zegler’s summarizing Snow White as a “love story.”

“I never thought of it as a love story,” one person wrote on TikTok. “It’s literally a battle of good and evil with a dash of love thrown in.”

“I must be remembering wrong because I don’t remember the romance being a massive part of the original,” a second added.

“If you hate the original this much, why would you want to make the remake. [Please] make it make sense,” TikToker @nuttybutter96 wondered.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a condescending, smug Disney princess ever in my life,” they said in her video, which has been viewed over 6.7 million times. “She made us sound like women only matter if they are hateful of love, hateful of any kind of romance, and we only exist to thrive and be a leader.”

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“Woke little brats like yourself fail quickly,” one person promised. “Buckle up … you’re about to see ‘Woke’ go ‘Broke’ in the most fantastical way.”

Zegler seemingly noticed she had gone viral as she took to X to try and quit the online outrage. “I hope the world becomes kinder,” she pleaded.

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“I love you very much. Forever and ever,” she added, trying to quiet the firestorm. “Remember to be kind. Treat each other with patience and empathy. Remember that you are loved unconditionally, no matter your mistakes, no matter your misunderstandings. You deserve it. You deserve love. You deserve to live without fear.”

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