The entire Snow White remake controversy explained

Snow White
Rachel Zegler stars as the titular character in Disney's Snow White remake (Image via @BuckmeisterCul/Twitter)

Disney intends to make Snow White's live-action remake, which is set to release in March of 2024. The movie, starring Rachel Zegler and Gal Gadot, will reportedly be very different from the 1937 animated classic. Following certain revelations about casting and the general plotline, the upcoming film has garnered a massive amount of backlash and is surrounded by controversy on various fronts.

In an interview with Variety, Zegler, who plays the titular character of the Disney princess, and Gadot, who features as the Evil Queen, disclosed that Snow White is not a damsel in distress anymore.

She will neither await a prince to rescue her nor will she dream about love because, in Zegler's words, "it's no longer 1937". The Latina actress' casting has also been criticized by racist trolls.

Another controversy seems to be the casting of the seven dwarfs or a lack thereof. The filmmakers reportedly thought of taking this particular angle in a different direction altogether "to avoid reinforcing stereotypes."

The change was made after actors from the community, including Peter Dinklage, commented on the film being a "backward story" for typecasting.

Disney's Snow White remake faced backlash after Rachel Zegler revealed that she will not be saved by a prince

Disney's live-action remake of Snow White, which stars West Side Story's Rachel Zegler as the titular character and is set to release in March 2024, has faced a great deal of backlash following recent revelations and leaks concerning the plot and casting. Critics have accused Disney of altering the original plot in an attempt to propagate an anti-Prince Charming feminist agenda.

Zegler, in the 2022 D23 Expo Variety interview clip, mentioned that the new take on the film will be different from the classic fable because "it's no longer 1937," as per the New York Post. Meanwhile, Gal Gadot, who reportedly features as the Evil Queen, intervened and stated that Prince Ferdinand will not rescue/save the princess because she is no damsel in distress.

The outlet reported that during the interview, Zegler further commented:

"[Snow White] is not going to be saved by the prince and she’s not going to be dreaming about true love. She’s dreaming about becoming the leader she knows she can be and the leader that her late father told her that she could be if she was fearless, fair, brave and true."

US Weekly reported that the criticism first started in 2021 when the Latina actress was cast to play the titular character. Racist trolls and other critics were quick to question her inclusion and expressed their dissatisfaction with the situation.

The report mentioned that Zegler, who is of Colombian and Polish descent, spoke to Vanity Fair last October about her role and said:

"People are making these jokes about ours being the PC Snow White, where it’s like, yeah, it is — because it needed that. It’s an 85-year-old cartoon, and our version is a refreshing story about a young woman who has a function beyond 'Someday My Prince Will Come.'"

Some dwarf actors criticized the Snow White movie for typecasting, while others for changing the characters

Leaked images from the sets have also revealed the first look of Disney's other casting choices for the upcoming Snow White remake. Several concerns have been brought up with regards to the casting of the seven dwarves, who have been termed "magical creatures" instead.

The US Weekly reported that this particular change was made after Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage claimed the casting choice made no sense to him.

He lambasted them for being "progressive in one way," but "still making that f–king backward story about seven dwarves living in a cave together." Dinklage had previously criticized the film's typecasting of dwarf actors in stereotypical roles.

These characters are now being portrayed by Black actors and women, among dwarves, which has again caused a stir in the community. Stunt performer Jason "Wee Man" Acuña told TMZ that he disagreed with the change and how such alterations take away job opportunities from dwarf actors.

The outlet reported that a Disney spokesperson spoke on the changes:

"To avoid reinforcing stereotypes. from the original animated film, we are taking a different approach with these seven characters and have been consulting with members of the dwarfism community. We look forward to sharing more as the film heads into production after a lengthy development period."

Disney's live-action Snow White remake faces intense backlash ahead of its March 2024 debut.

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Edited by Prem Deshpande