American actor and songstress, Rachel Zegler is known for playing Maria in Steven Spielberg’s musical adaptation of West Side Story. Her acting in this musical won her the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical. At 16 years, she was chosen from over 30,000 applicants that had applied for the role of Maria by responding to Steven Spielberg’s open casting call on Twitter.

Zegler has starred as princesses in several musicals, namely, Beauty and The Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Shrek: The Musical. So, it was high time that Disney cast her as a princess in one of its live-action remakes. This remake happens to be of Snow White. 

Rachel Zegler in West Side Story
Rachel Zegler in West Side Story

Read More: “Stop with the remakes”: Snow White Live Action Remake Reveals Trailer Sneak Peek, Fans Enraged

Rachel Zegler Has Been Disappointed Before

Rachel Zegler is not only the first actress of Colombian descent to have won the Golden Globe award for West Side Story but also the youngest winner in this category at just 20 years old. Although it was the studios’ responsibility to do so, she was not invited to attend the Academy Awards 2022 to support her colleagues from the movie.

Rachel Zegler at Oscars 2022
Rachel Zegler at Oscars 2022

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The actress took to Instagram to express her disappointment about it. She wrote:

I have tried it all but it doesn’t seem to be happening … I will root for West Side Story from my couch and be proud of the work we so tirelessly did 3 years ago. I hope some last minute miracle occurs and I can celebrate with our film in person.

Thankfully, this caught the attention of American actor and dancer Russ Tamblyn who is the original actor of the West Side Story film and also a voting member of the Academy. In response to the post, Tamblyn wrote that it was the Academy’s responsibility to get a seat for Zegler as representation matters. The very next day the Academy invited the actress to present the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects alongside Jacob Elordi.

Rachel Zegler Faced Backlash Over Her Casting as Snow White

Rachel Zegler as Snow White
Rachel Zegler as Snow White

Recently, set photos of Snow White‘s reimagined seven companions were released. The companions are of different genders, ethnicities, and varying sizes. This has led to yet a slew of hate comments on social media for the remake of the movie. This isn’t the first time one of Disney’s remakes has led to the bashing of the lead actress or the people involved.

Read More: “It wasn’t something I really anticipated”: ‘The Little Mermaid’ Star Halle Bailey’s Heartbreaking Comments About Racist Fans’ Criticism – Animated Times

The endless discourse led to Zegler tweeting to thank the fans for speaking up in her defense and requesting to refrain from tagging her in the “nonsensical discourse” about her recasting.

History seems to be repeating itself. Again and again. It began with Rachel Zegler facing backlash because netizens online were not very supportive of the Latina reincarnation of the Disney princess Snow White. In an interview, she said that she was aware of all the hate she was getting but she has always been more focused on the silver lining as she expressed her excitement over playing a Latina princess.

Source: CBR

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