After actress Rachel Zegler was cast as Snow White in Disney’s live-action remake last year, she received backlash from critics who felt the actress just isn’t white enough to play the role.
Zegler addressed the backlash in an interview with Andrew Garfield as part of Variety‘s “Actors on Actors” series.
“Never in a million years did I imagine that this would be a possibility for me,” said Zegler. “You don’t normally see Snow Whites that are of Latin descent. Even though Snow White is really a big deal in Spanish-speaking countries. Blanca Nieves is a huge icon whether you’re talking about the Disney cartoon or just different iterations and the Grimm fairy tale and all the stories that come with it. But you don’t particularly see people who look like me or are me playing roles like that.”
Zegler added, “When it was announced, it was a huge thing that was trending on Twitter for days, because all of the people were angry. […]We need to love them in the right direction. At the end of the day, I have a job to do that I’m really excited to do. I get to be a Latina princess.”
Disney’s live-action “Snow White” remake is being directed by Marc Webb, and a release date has not yet been announced.
Zegler’s casting was part of Disney’s push to diversify its Disney Princess characters. Singer Halle Bailey also received a similar pushback when she was tapped to play Ariel in the upcoming live-action “The Little Mermaid “movie.
“I feel like I’m dreaming and I’m just grateful and I don’t pay attention to the negativity,” she told Variety at the time. “I just feel like this role was something bigger than me, and greater, and it’s going to be beautiful and I’m just so excited to be a part of it.”