‘Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest one of all?’
Disney crowned its new princess on Tuesday for its latest live-action outing of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarves’, drawling polarised reactions from fans of the fairytale.
The studio has cast ‘West Side Story’ actress Rachel Zegler as its new princess, who is half Colombian and half Polish. Twitter erupted in chaos soon after the announcement, with one faction lauding Disney for its push for diversity and breaking away from the stereotype of a fair-looking princess, while several others criticised the choice on account of Zegler’s ethnicity.
The young actress responded to the negativity in a tweet of her own, writing: “yes i am snow white no i am not bleaching my skin for the role,” presumably in response to several trolls who pondered whether Zegler would go that route.
The tweet has since been deleted, but the debate continues to rage on Twitter. Several of the objections on social media referred to the premise of the German fairytale, which described Snow White having ‘skin as white as snow’.
However, despite the trolling, there are more than enough users on Twitter celebrating Zegler’s casting. User Noor-Hal, meanwhile, gave a solution to others who were upset by Disney’s choice. “Here, there are more Snow White versions if one with a Latina actress doesn’t suit you, plus the classic one animated,” while posting images of various other cinematic outings of the fairytale.
This isn’t the first time Disney has broken away from convention. Last year, the studio announced Halle Bailey would star as Ariel in the live-action remake of ‘The Little Mermaid’, making it the first time a Black artist was playing the character on screen.
Meanwhile, Zegler has a busy few months ahead of her, what with her big screen debut as Maria in the Steven Spielberg-directed remake of ‘West Side Story’, which also stars Ansel Elgort and Rita Moreno.
Zegler also has an undisclosed role in ‘Shazam! 2: Fury of the Gods’, which stars Zachary Levi as Shazam.