Disney is delaying the release of its live-action film “Snow White” by a year for a major overhaul after lead actress Rachel Zegler sparked outrage with a tirade of angry anger.
Walt Disney announced the delay on Friday. The company cited the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike as the main reason for the decision – but cynics point to upcoming reshoots as evidence that Disney bosses fear they have made a $330 million move.
Zegler, who plays the title role, also embroiled the film in controversy by claiming the 1937 source material was scary and vowing to ensure the remake was more progressive.
Over the summer, the film received negative attention after it was revealed that the Seven Dwarves – iconic roles in the original film – were to be replaced with seven “magical (non-dwarf) creatures” in order to keep the narrative consistent with the film’s creed 21st century on political correctness.
They were seen on the film’s set and consisted of a mix of men and women of various ethnicities, including a real dwarf.
But in a new promotional shot, Snow White, played by Rachel Zegler, sits surrounded by seven CGI dwarves, with the various originals nowhere to be seen.
In a new promotional image, Disney revealed the live-action Snow White sitting among CGI gnomes, which the company originally said wouldn’t appear in the updated telling of the fairy tale
Pictured over the summer: the seven “magical creatures” who were intended to be the more politically correct replacement for the dwarves
It’s unclear exactly what Disney plans to do with the “magical creatures” and the original dwarves.
Beyond the Dwarves controversy, several clips circulated a few months ago of Zegler talking about the film in a way that audiences detested.
Interviews revealed that Zegler made derogatory claims about the original Snow White film and chastised the main character for her outdated values.
As well as admitting she “hated” the original 1937 film, the 22-year-old described the film’s prince as a “stalker” and branded the plot “weird”.
“I just mean that it’s not 1937 anymore. She will not be saved by the prince and she will not dream of true love,” Zegler told Variety a year ago.
“She dreams of becoming the leader she knows she can be, and the leader her late father told her she could be if she were fearless, fair, courageous and loyal .”
Speaking again at the Disney D23 Expo in California in September 2022, Zegler – known for her groundbreaking role in “West Side Story” – said: “The original cartoon came out in 1937, and obviously that.” The focus is on their love story with a man who literally stalks her. Strange! Strange! So we didn’t do that this time.
“We have a different approach to what I’m sure a lot of people will think is a love story just because we cast a man in the film,” Rachel continued, referring to Andrew Burnap.
“All of Andrew’s scenes could be cut out, who knows? It’s Hollywood, baby!” She joked before admitting in a separate interview that she was “scared” while taking the popular Snow White ride at Disney World.
Disney previously said it was taking a “different approach” to the original “Seven Dwarfs” characters in the remake of the classic film “Snow White” to “avoid reinforcing stereotypes.”
Rachel Zegler, 22, is best known for her breakout role in “West Side Story.” Her subsequent feature film has now been postponed to 2025
Of the 1937 film she said: “I was afraid of the original version.” I think I saw it once and never picked it up again. I’m so serious.’
“I watched it once and then I went on the ride at Disney World called Snow White’s Spooky Adventures. “Doesn’t sound like something a small child would enjoy.” “I was terrified by it and never went to see Snow White again,” she added in an interview alongside Gal Gadot, who plays the evil witch in the updated version.
In a subsequent interview with late-night host Jimmy Fallon, Zegler claimed that she frequently stands in line for the Disney ride that she supposedly despises.
A fairly popular video criticizing Zegler came from TikTok user @cosywithangie, who said the young actress’ criticism of the original version of Snow White was actually not a good example of advocating for feminism.
“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, and that’s okay,” Angie said.
“It’s not anti-feminist to want to fall in love, to want to get married, to want to stay at home, to want to be a housewife.” “None of these things make you less valuable as a person or a woman.”
“Some women want a marriage or a family and not a job.” Some women want BOTH. “Everyone needs to be heard, seen and valued,” she captioned her video, which has been viewed more than 10 million times.
Other TikTok users began to question Zegler’s involvement in a story she apparently hated.
TikTok user @nuttybutter96 shared snippets of an interview wondering why Zegler was “so smug,” captioning her post: “If you hate the original so much, why would you want to do the remake?” Please make it make sense…’
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a condescending, smug Disney princess in my life,” she wrote of the interview.
It’s unclear whether the newly introduced “magical creatures” will be cut from the film entirely
Zegler was harshly criticized for her unreliable feminist views and exaggerated negative opinions about the original Snow White film
In another high-profile interview about the film, Zegler defended the film’s newly enforced progressive bent: “People joke that we’re the PC Snow White… yeah, that’s it – because that’s what it needed.”
“Our version is a refreshing story about a young woman who has a purpose that goes beyond “Someday My Prince Will Come.”
The Colombian-American actress faced some backlash from critics after being cast as Snow White, who was always described as having “skin as white as snow.”
In a now-deleted tweet, she wrote: “Yes, I am Snow White; No, I’m not bleaching my skin for the role.’
In the 1937 Disney version of the film, Snow White befriends the seven dwarfs while hiding from her evil stepmother, who later poisons her with an apple before Prince Charming awakens her from her sleep with a kiss. The plot is loosely based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale of the same name from 1812.
At the time of its release, it became a huge hit for Disney, grossing hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide. It was also the first full-length, traditionally animated feature film and Disney’s first animated film.