Disney’s ‘Snow White’ Star Addresses Sexual Assault Claims Against Costar

in Movies & TV

ansel elgort (left) and rachel zegler (right) dancing in west side story

Credit: 20th Century Studios

West Side Story (2021) star Rachel Zegler has been cast in the leading role as the very first Disney Princess in Disney’s upcoming live-action adaptation of Snow White and Seven Dwarfs.

snow white
Credit: @rachelzegler via Instagram

Related: Paralympian With Dwarfism Defends ‘Snow White,’ Disagrees With Dinklage

She will be joined by former Miss Israel, Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman 1984, Death on the Nile), who will portray the Evil Queen, and by Broadway actor Andrew Burnap in a new male role that has been created specifically for this new version of the classic fairytale, which was Walt Disney Animation Studios’ first feature-length film in 1937.

Recently, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has come under fire from both fans and Game of Thrones alum Peter Dinklage. Dinklage has expressed concern regarding the “backwards” direction of casting a Latina leading lady, while still telling a story about “seven dwarfs living in a cave together.”

peter dinklage as tyrion lannister
Credit: HBO

Related: Will ‘Death on the Nile’ Sink Amid Armie Hammer Fan Backlash?

The 52-year-old Tyrion Lannister actor, who is himself a dwarf, shared:

“…what the f*** are you doing, man? Have I done nothing to advance the cause from my soap box? I guess I’m not loud enough. I don’t know which studio that is but they were so proud of it. All love and respect to the actress and all the people who thought they were doing the right thing. But I’m just like, what are you doing?”

ansel elgort (left) and rachel zegler (right) in west side story
Credit: 20th Century Studios

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Now, Zegler is speaking out about another sensitive topic, this time regarding her West Side Story costar Ansel Elgort. Per People:

In June 2020, Elgort was accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl in 2014 when he was 20. The woman (a Twitter user named Gabby who shared the claims on social media) also alleged that he tried to solicit nude photos from her at the time and asked to have a threesome.

west side story
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Related: Disney Responds to Recent ‘Snow White’ Backlash From Peter Dinklage

In a recent cover story interview, Zegler diplomatically told The Hollywood Reporter:

“We made a movie two and a half years ago, and a lot has gone on in the world since then. A lot has changed very publicly, and privately as well. There’s been a lot of awakening,” she told the outlet. “You just hope that the people involved are okay, that they are asked in a respectful manner and that they are given the opportunity to answer for themselves.”

rita moreno in west side story
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Related: ‘Frozen’ Actress Alleges She Was “Essentially Raped” on Music Video Set

Per People‘s report, Rita Moreno (Valentina) — who also famously played Anita in the 1961 version of West Side Story — has also weighed in on the controversy surrounding the Steven Spielberg film. She shared many scenes with Elgort and noted, “I think it would have been absolutely horrendous and wrong for anyone to take sides in that matter. It’s not for me to make those judgments.”

At this time no charges have officially been filed against Elgort.

More on West Side Story

West Side Story
Credit: Vulture

The official description of Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story reads, in part:

Directed by Academy Award® winner Steven Spielberg, from a screenplay by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® winner Tony Kushner, “West Side Story” tells the classic tale of fierce rivalries and young love in 1957 New York City. This reimagining of the beloved musical stars Ansel Elgort (Tony); Ariana DeBose (Anita); David Alvarez (Bernardo); Mike Faist (Riff); Brian d’Arcy James (Officer Krupke); Corey Stoll (Lieutenant Schrank); Josh Andrés Rivera (Chino); with Rita Moreno (as Valentina, who owns the corner store in which Tony works); and introducing Rachel Zegler (Maria.) Moreno – one of only three artists to be honored with Academy®, Emmy®, GRAMMY®, Tony® and Peabody Awards – also serves as one of the film’s executive producers. Bringing together the best of both Broadway and Hollywood, the film’s creative team includes Kushner, who also served as an executive producer;

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