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The Official Guide to Each Live-Action “Snow White” Controversy (So Far)

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Credit: Disney, Rachel Zegler, Canva

The Walt Disney Company is at it again: taking a beloved animated film and turning it into a live-action remake that nobody asked for. One of Disney’s latest victims is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937),

As if churning out another live-action remake wasn’t enough to cause a stir, controversy seems to follow the upcoming Snow White film no matter what the filmmakers do.

It can be hard to keep up, so we at Disney Dining decided to write a brief but thorough guide detailing the controversies surrounding the film.

Snow White (scheduled for 2024) is being directed by Marc Webb (who directed the Amazing Spider-Man films starring Andrew Garfield), with a screenplay by Greta Gerwig, the visionary behind Barbie (2023) and Little Women (2019).

But most importantly, Snow White stars Rachel Zegler as the titular Disney Princess. And so, the controversies begin…

In the Case of the First Controversy, Zegler Is Actually the Victim!

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Credit: Disney

READ MORE: Amidst Live-Action “Snow White” Controversies, Original Film Resurfaces In the Best of Ways

Rachel Zegler’s first notable role can be traced back to Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of West Side Story (2021), in which the actress played Maria. As you may have noticed, Rachel Zegler isn’t a white woman.

The actress is of Polish and Colombian descent, making her a woman of color. Although her skin tone isn’t incredibly dark, there was a racist outcry once Disney announced its casting choice.

Unlike The Little Mermaid, skin tone plays a role in the story of Snow White, which is why so many fans felt comfortable enough to spout “not my Snow White.” It goes without saying that nobody deserves to be insulted, criticized, or judged by the color of their skin alone, and yet, hundreds of Disney fans did exactly that.

The Second Controversy Is Actually a Two-In-One

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Credit: Disney, Rachel Zegler/ Instagram

READ MORE: Planned Release of Live-Action “Snow White” SHELVED at Disney

You may have noticed that the upcoming film is titled Snow White, while the original is titled Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This has also caused some controversy.

While the entire cast for the live-action remake hasn’t been announced yet, it seems that the Walt Disney Company has hired only one actor with dwarfism. Presumably, we can assume that the other six ‘companions’ will be played by actors without dwarfism.

This decision sparked two different controversies.

Peter Dinklage appeared on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast and spoke about this decision, saying he felt “a little taken aback when [the Walt Disney Company] were very proud to cast a Latina actress as Snow White, but you are still telling the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

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Credit: Disney

READ MORE: Former Disney Imagineer Advises Disney to SCRAP Theatrical Release of ‘Snow White,’ Opting Instead for Straight to Disney+ Option

The Walt Disney Company quickly responded, stating,

…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.

The second controversy argued the opposite, as other actors with dwarfism disagreed with Peter Dinklage’s opinion. Instead, many actors spoke out and argued that Disney’s decision is nothing but a missed opportunity.

After all, it’s no secret that actors with dwarfism will have a difficult time finding normal roles, and many actors argue that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is an opportunity for seven actors with dwarfism to play these roles. Instead, six of these roles will be going to actors without dwarfism.

It All Circles Back to Rachel Zegler…

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Credit: Daily Mail

READ MORE: ‘Insulting and Disrespectful’ Son of Snow White Director Didn’t Hold Back About the Remake

The most recent controversies circle back to Rachel Zegler and some comments she made about the upcoming remake, as well as the original film.

In one interview with Entertainment Weekly, Zegler mentions that the original film scared her as a child, stating that she “watched it once and never picked it up again.”

Then, in an interview with Variety, Zegler discussed some changes and updates being made for the live-action remake. In this interview, Zegler reminds audiences that “it’s no longer 1937,” assuring audiences that Snow White was “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.”

But that wasn’t the only time the lead actress playfully mocked the original source material. In yet another interview during the D23 Expo, Rachel Zegler describes Disney’s first Prince Charming as “a guy who literally stalks [Snow White.]” She expressed how strange she found it, and assured audiences that this was changed in the live-action remake.

And there you have it! A brief, yet comprehensive guide of each Snow White controversy thus far. Stay tuned to Disney Dining for the latest information regarding Disney’s upcoming remake.

About Isabella Reimer

Isabella Reimer grew up visiting Walt Disney World and relocated to Central Florida to be even closer to The Most Magical Place on Earth. She earned her Bachelor’s from Florida State University, where she studied Creative Writing and Women’s Studies. Her biggest hobby is bonding with the ikran at Avatar Flight of Passage, and her retirement plan includes becoming the 1,000 Happy Haunt of the Haunted Mansion.