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Rachel zegler.jpg

People Are Being Weird About Rachel Zegler

By Allyson Johnson | Celebrity | August 18, 2023 |

By Allyson Johnson | Celebrity | August 18, 2023 |

Rachel zegler.jpg

People are being weird about Rachel Zegler again, something that’s becoming a trend in her brief career so far. She delivered a stirring performance in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of West Side Story and had to answer for her co-star, who had been facing accusations of sexual harassment, rather than the actor, Ansel Elgort, or the director who hired him. Now, she’s facing criticism from conservatives and Disney stans, as they slam her for comments she made last year about the original 1937 film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in preparation for the upcoming live-action adaptation in which she stars.

Zegler’s casting had already angered racist fans who couldn’t comprehend a Latina actress being cast. Now, Disney fans are calling out the actress for her dismissive attitude towards the film, while the film itself also receives pushback.

In the original interview that has recently gone viral — mainly from last year’s D23 Expo event — she talks about how this version of Snow White wouldn’t simply be “dreaming about true love.” Instead, Zegler’s version looks to be a leader, “the leader that her late father told her that she could be if she was fearless, fair, brave, and true.”

She calls the film dated and criticizes the romance of the original as “weird,” saying it’s all about a guy who “literally stalks her.”

So, of course, those who can’t understand why a 22-year-old might see the 1937 film as having dated gender roles (which it does, in case we’re confused) aren’t pleased with her.

David Hand, whose father was one of the directors of the original film, spoke negatively about the film in an interview with The Telegraph. Of the filmmakers and those spearheading these new adaptations, he said:

“They change the stories, they change the thought process of the characters … they’re making up new woke things and I’m just not into any of that. I find it quite frankly a bit insulting [what] they may have done with some of these classic films … There’s no respect for what Disney did and what my dad did … I think Walt and he would be turning in their graves.”

And there we have it. It’s the “new woke things” that reveal his true self. He doesn’t care about the sanctity of the source material or that it’s being updated. He’s upset that there’s a clear push to diversify the story and to give it a more feminist perspective, and he, along with many others, can’t handle it.

As a big animation nerd, there’s a lot to appreciate about the work of the original Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It’s a feat of filmmaking as the first feature-length animated film Disney released, and the Haunted Forest sequence, in particular, remains a highlight. But those pretending that it’s a film that shouldn’t be touched, or that someone who isn’t obsessively devoted to the original shouldn’t be involved, need to reevaluate their intense reactions.

Frankly, I think the continued releases of these Disney live-action adaptations are diminishing the magic of the originals. They often refuse to do anything new with the source material and simply remake the original scene for scene but with actors rather than animation, resulting in flat, tepid films lacking the original spirit. So if this version of Snow White is looking to push boundaries or do something different that isn’t just the now-requisite, faux “girl power” messaging, then good for the filmmakers. I’m not rushing to see it in theaters because, well, see above, but my issues aren’t with updating a romantic plot that was off-putting in the original.

Regardless, people need to ease up on Zegler, who is harmless and talented. The fervor with which the internet has taken to criticizing the actress for the actions of others who have worked with her, or for off-the-cuff comments made almost a year ago, is embarrassing.