Rachel Zegler Blames ‘Snow White’ Director For “Woke” Storyline Changes

in Disney, Entertainment

Credit: Edited by Inside the Magic

It seems that many of the upset Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) fans have been pointing their finger at the wrong person this entire time, as Rachel Zegler has noted who the real culprit is when it comes to the massive plot shift and alternate character choices.

Rachel Zegler stares on in shock
Credit: Lionsgate

Disney’s live-action kick has been going strong over the past few years, as the company attempts to rebuild their nostalgic films in a new way. The idea of live-action movies are interesting when it comes to Disney, as the company is able to take an animated film that is so beloved by guests, like Beauty and the Beast for example, and decades later, bring it to life with real actors.

Not only does this re-popularize the animated film and storyline for younger generations who’s Disney renaissance was Tangled and Frozen, but also brings back all of the now-adults who fell in love with so many of Disney’s original stories.

We have seen films like Cinderella, The Jungle Book, Mulan, Pinocchio, Aladdin, The Lion King, and more be brought to life for the second time, with other films like Cruella and Maleficent bringing their original stories of 101 Dalmatians and Sleeping Beauty to reality from a new point of view: the villain.

Hale Bailey as Ariel and Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid 2023
Credit: Disney

The most recent Disney live-action was The Little Mermaid, starring Halle Bailey.

Directed by Rob Marshall with a screenplay by David Magee, The Little Mermaid features original music by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alan Menken. The film stars Halle Bailey as Ariel, Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, Melissa McCarthy as sea witch Ursula, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian the crab, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder the fish, Javier Bardem as King Triton, and Awkwafina as Scuttle the seagull. (Spoiler alert: Keep your eyes peeled for a Jodi Benson cameo!)

The film was highly criticized for casting Ariel as a black character, as opposed to her white animated appearance.

The big difference here is that Disney has begun to move toward a direction of further inclusivity, especially in their films. We have seen more characters of color as well as characters of the LGBTQ+ community represented on screen as of late, which more viewers to see themselves within a character. While the mission has excellent intentions, not everyone is happy with it.

Some are upset with the changing storylines as it affects the nostalgic memory that they had as a kid, while others do not like the “woke” messages that Disney is “pushing” onto children, so much so that some parents have banned their kids from watching anything made by Mickey Mouse.

The next live-action Disney film to debut will be Snow White in 2024. 

Rachel Zegler next to a poison apple
Credit: Rachel Zegler via Twitter

Snow White is an upcoming American musical fantasy film directed by Marc Webb, from a screenplay by Greta Gerwig and Erin Cressida Wilson. Co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Marc Platt Productions, it is a live-action remake of Walt Disney’s 1937 animated feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which itself is loosely based on the 1812 fairy tale of the same title by the Brothers Grimm. The film stars Rachel Zegler as the title character and Gal Gadot as the Evil Queen.

Andrew Burnap will also be starring as Jonathan, a replacement for the secondary role of Prince Charming.

At first, some were not thrilled with Zegler’s casting, even though she just finished with Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story as the titular character of Maria, who sings like an angel, as she is Latina, and not “white as snow”. However, the major controversy began afterward, when the storyline began to change, and Zegler spoke out on the film.

Zegler has made comments about the movie, calling the fairytale “strange” and stating that it’s no longer 1937. She emphasized that Snow White won’t be a damsel in distress saved by a prince but rather a character who aspires to be a fearless, fair, brave, and true leader.

These changes have sparked debate, with some labeling them as “woke.” Disney’s aim to bring more inclusivity to its films has been applauded by some but criticized by others who believe the company is moving away from its timeless classics, including those crafted by Walt Disney himself. Despite the backlash, Disney appears determined to move forward with the changes.

Rachel Zegler as Maria
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Zegler was also caught noting that she was scared of the Disney attraction of Snow White, and that she only watched the film once in her life, leaving many upset that someone who is not a true fan of Disney’s first princess is playing the role, and entirely changing the “caretaker” archetype Snow had, and turning her into a Robin Hood-style leader with a much tougher exterior — opposite to the animated Snow White character.

Another point of contention for fans within the film is that following criticism from actor Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) over the “stereotypical portrayal of dwarfs”, Disney announced that the film will replace the titular characters with “magical creatures.” 

Apparently, according to the following backlash, Dinklage ignored the difference between real life humans suffering from dwarfism and the dwarfs as mythical and fantastical creatures from European fantasy, folklore and mythology. Dinklage even wrongly stated that the dwarfs of Snow White live in a “cavern” instead of a cottage in the forest.

Snow White looking scared
Credit: Disney

This scandal has led to rumors that noted the movie was being scrapped, while others suggested that Zegler would be replaced by Jenna Ortega, actress and lead star of Netflix’s Wednesday, especially once Zegler officially lost her role in Paddington 3.

Now, more comments have surfaced from Zegler, but it appears the suffering star may be looking to shift blame and attention away from her, and onto director Marc Webb. When talking about the director, she noted, “[He’s] so dedicated to making a […] princess [movie] for his daughter, and I just really love that sentiment and I hope that it gets echoed for all eternity!”

Rachel Zegler pretending to be Snow White in front of a poster of the classic animated princess
Credit: Rachel Zegler via Twitter

Within this statement, we can see that Webb may be at the root of the changes to Snow White, as he is making it for his daughter and wants her to grow up in a world where she can be a leader. The statement also restates that Marc is the leader of the film, so any and all decisions are his primarily before Zegler has a say.

Currently, many are awaiting a trailer to drop for the film, however, early screen tests are showing that audiences are likely to love the film, although the initial reception has not been positive. Zegler will next be seen in the Hunger Games franchise with The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

Are you looking forward to Snow White? Do you have a problem with the plot changes? 

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