The battle about Snow White has become the internet’s latest great debate. Comments Rachel Zegler, who plays the titular character, made about the Disney princess while promoting her live-action remake have resurfaced and sparked ire from some fans. After her interview clips spread like wildfire and TikTok users called out the West Side Story actress for her criticism of the Disney animated classic, Rachel took to Twitter (okay, X) to share her thoughts.
i hope the world becomes kinder
— rachel zegler (she/her/hers) (@rachelzegler) August 11, 2023
i love you very much. forever and ever. 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. x
— rachel zegler (she/her/hers) (@rachelzegler) August 12, 2023
“I hope the world becomes kinder,” she wrote on August 11. She added several hours later, “I love you very much. Forever and ever. 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. x.”
The controversy started when her interviews from D23 in September 2022 began to circulate on the internet. When asked about the live-action movie’s “modern edge” take on Snow White, Rachel told Variety, “I just mean that it’s no longer 1937. She’s not going to be saved by the prince and she’s not going to be dreaming about true love. She’s dreaming about becoming the leader she knows she can be and the leader that her late father told her that she could be if she was fearless, fair, brave, and true.”
In an interview with Extra, Rachel stressed that this Snow White would not focus on the film’s original love story. Remember, true love’s kiss awakened Snow White from her sleep. “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,” she said. The actress went on to joke that all of Andrew Burnap’s scenes “could get cut.”
Rachel also admitted to EW that she was “scared” of the 1937 Disney animated film. Many TikTok users began slamming Rachel’s view of the character and the original movie. One user, @cosywithangie,” said “criticizing Disney princesses is not feminist” in a video with over 9.4 million views. She captioned her video, “Just because a woman values something different, does not make her any less valuable. Some women want a career and not marriage. Some women want a marriage or family and not a job. Some women want BOTH. All are to be heard, and seen, and valued.”
Another TikTok user, @nuttybutter96, called Rachel’s comments “so smug and condescending.” She captioned her post, “If you hate the original this much, why would you want to make the remake.”
However, many have been coming to Rachel’s defense. TikTok’s @jstoobs called out the “misogynistic and racist” responses to Rachel’s comments and how the focus has shifted to just “tear this woman down.”
Twitter user @juliaannecudney wrote, “Miss rachel zegler should not be in such hot water over saying snow white wasn’t ahead of it’s time (true), it wasn’t a childhood favorite of hers (honest), and the remake is going to attempt more feminism (something i think ALL of the other live-action princesses have said??)”
The live-action Snow White also stars Gal Gadot as the Evil Queen. The movie is set to hit theaters on March 22, 2024.