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"Replace Ansel Elgort": West Side Story trailer sparks furor online after allegations against actor resurface

Ansel Elgort in West Side Story
Ansel Elgort in West Side Story's trailer (Image via Twentieth Century Studios)
EXPERT COLUMNIST
Modified 26 Apr 2021
Feature

The trailer release of Steven Spielberg's opulent reimagining of "West Side Story" has run into controversy after sexual assault allegations against lead actor Ansel Elgort resurfaced online.

The timeless classic takes place in 1950's New York and centers around the tale of star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria, who belong to rival street gangs, The Jets and The Sharks.

While Maria's role is being played by debutante Rachel Zegler, "The Fault in Our Stars" star Ansel Elgort will step into the shoes of Tony.

The internet has expressed a strong sense of disapproval regarding the latter's casting due to his sexual assault allegations that stem back to 2014.

As a result of the charges resurfacing online, several Twitter users began petitioning to "Replace Ansel Elgort."

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Ansel Elgort scandal: Accusations cast a shadow over West Side Story's magnificent trailer

Back in 2020, Ansel Elgort became the subject of numerous headlines across the world after a 26-year-old woman accused him of sexually assaulting her in 2014 when she was 17 and he, 20.

The woman alleged that in 2014, she exchanged direct messages with the Manhattan native, where she informed him that it would soon be her 17th birthday.

She claimed that Ansel Elgort allegedly gave her his private Snapchat account and asked for inappropriate photos. She also posted a picture of what appeared to be her sitting with the star, in addition to sharing an alleged screenshot of their direct message exchange.

She also revealed that she had PTSD and panic attacks in the aftermath of their alleged encounter. Post her accusations, the 27-year-old took to Instagram to issue a statement in which he denied all claims of assault.

He admitted to having a "brief, consensual relationship with her" and revealed that he failed to handle their breakup well, as a result of which he stopped responding to her.

The allegations resurfaced online recently after Ansel Elgort appeared in the trailer for "West Side Story," his first film since 2019's "The Goldfinch."

In light of these concerning accusations, several Twitter users expressed aversion towards Elgort's casting in the upcoming musical.

With Twitter in a serious quandary over Ansel Elgort's casting in West Side Story, it remains to be seen what the overall reception to the film will be once it hits theatres in December.

Published 26 Apr 2021
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