Rachel Zegler is wrong; that is, regarding her infamous observations surrounding her Disney debut as *the* princess among princesses: Snow White. She’s talked down at the original depiction of Snow White (1937), claiming her new depiction will be more proactive and not dependent on a romance story; neither of which received well among her critics. What an ungracious person; getting this incredible role and being so belligerent to what it means for many fans and has meant over the years!
This is what I thought…but not anymore.
Looking at Zegler’s words through the perspectives shared by other people in articles and posts on social media, it is easy for anyone to get the impression that she is some sort of stuck up Hollywood royalty; rather, I challenge her critics, she only responded in the same “straight-talk” manner that certain other celeb voices used when talking down their own projects.
I was wrong about her at first glance, the critics are wrong, and we are too obsessed in the geeky culture with seeing the “agendas” of change in our favorite stories. Let’s visit the Church of Selective Outrage and explore this!
1. Rachel’s Words of Blasphemy
In summary, Zegler said the following things: That the focus of the previous Disney Snow White was the love story between Snow and “a stalker” which I admit is a little strange a position; dude just happened upon Snow twice. Also that the new movie will take a progressive approach and not assume an inevitable love story just because “we cast a guy in the movie” and “all of Andrew’s scenes could get cut; who knows?” (which could *easily* mean she’s just playing coy). I’ll point out she added about her Prince Charming “Andrew Burnap; great dude!”
She also said the original movie is “extremely dated” insofar as its ideas regarding “women in roles of power and what a woman is fit for in the world.” And that the phrase “fairest of them all” will take a new meaning: the most just, and not the most beautiful. “She’s not 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.”
2. The Complaints
The complaints are summarized: Rachel Zegler pushed an agenda at us — that women have to be prickly bosses and emasculate men/tear down women who don’t want to be leaders — and completely disrespected the original Snow White and every fan who loved its soft yet optimistic heroine.
“She just comes off as self-centered.” said Debi Barton in Geek News Now group The GNN Greats. “Or her PR team did a really crap job of prepping her on how to present herself and how she says things. She actually called Prince Charming a stalker! If you watch that particular interview with Gal Gadot standing in the back ground – you can see Gal cringe with every word this girl is spewing out.”
I watched the two interviews from the same D23 Expo which Zegler and Gadot attended, and the one Gadot actually appears in, she looks chummy with Zegler; smiling (looking genuinely happy), nodding along with Zegler and even joining in with saying “She’s not going to be saved by the prince!” Where exactly is this perceived “cringe”?
For all the complaints that she doesn’t care about playing such a suddenly all-important character, that she doesn’t give it proper due, some of her comments which don’t get talked about — such as “I took a pause and realized what I was auditioning for, and, like, I will elbow *everyone* out of the way to play the part!” — show that she’s excited to play this role; albeit in a new interpretation which is meant to both challenge expectations and offer a take that anyone doesn’t have to be the most beautiful piece of arm candy.
“Mark is so excited about the material because he has a young daughter and he really wanted to make a movie for her, and for his younger son.” said Zegler to Entertainment Weekly. “And I feel like he did just that, and that was really special to be a part of.”
3. Book of Harrison and Pattinson: The Parable of Hypocrisy
Taken from faroutmagazine.co.uk: “He’s dumb as a stump,” – Harrison Ford (regarding Han Solo).
Taken from interview with Chris Van Vliet from WOIO in Cleveland: “A lot of actors, when they say goodbye to a movie, they like to take something from the set. Did you indulge, did you?” -Chris Van Vliet.
“My dignity.” – Robert Pattinson (regarding time spent playing Edward Cullen).
Actors Harrison Ford and Robert Pattinson had fun showing their dislike of the roles which not only launched them into stardom but were also beloved by masses of fans. The common reaction to their roasts: it’s cheeky banter.
So here’s the thing: I don’t see the same outrage shown to Ford or Pattinson, given how popular/important Star Wars and Twilight are. It’s okay for them to trash their roles and their stories but it’s not okay for Rachel Zegler to give any opinion on past or present Snow White…? Her unforgivable blasphemy being straight-talk to all (without the venom fans insist is there) that her Snow White seeks to make a proactive heroine who shows it’s okay to become a strong leader and not dependent on romantic interest; something which I find the original Disney depiction didn’t do, but rather made her strong enough to weather bad situations yet also not be the brightest bulb in the box.
I mean, “magic wishing apple“? Really, Snow?
4. Book of Star Wars (Chpts. VII-IX): The Parable of Johnny
There once was a fan named Johnny who loved Star Wars. Well of course I know him; he’s *me*! Since he was four years old, Johnny loved this world of sci-fi fantasy adventure. As he grew up, Johnny came to be deeply inspired by the mystical, spiritual, and philosophical aspects of both the Original and Prequel trilogies. Then came the era of the Sequel Trilogy.
Having actually seen each movie, he could make an informed opinion about them; certainly not that everyone hated the movies before they even released, because that’s pre-meditated Hate-orade! Johnny didn’t do like the toxic fans he saw online vocally angered by having a woman in the lead role or having a black actor in a semi-leading role; didn’t see the same malicious or emasculating “agenda” some saw in having stronger representation of more peoples in a galaxy far, far away. And he wasn’t pre-determined to hate each movie.
Consider also that some fans of the original Disney animated The Little Mermaid (1989) got so hung up and angry over having a black actress as Ariel (same treatment as Latina actress Zegler) in the 2023 live-action remake and whether there was an emasculating agenda afoot — how dare its central character Ariel fight the villain instead of supporting character Prince Eric — that they took to online forums insisting that the remake was, before it even released to the public, a failure hated by every true Disney fan.
And now fans take to YouTube with their “undeniable evidence” that Disney dropped (or will drop) Zegler from Snow White to put out a perceived fire… All before it’s even released. You can disagree with the direction of a story differing from how you came to know it after you’ve given the new story a fair chance, but to look intensely for signs of a new take’s “certain failure” before you’ve seen it is a waste of energy.
Next to the problem of being conveniently picky about which celebs can give “straight-talk” banter, this — being pre-determined to hate a person and their unreleased movie — is equally wasteful.
5. Here Endeth the Lesson
Some say Rachel Zegler is too blunt or abrasive in interviews; such as when asked why she joined Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) she said “I needed a job. I’m being so serious.” They leave out the rest where she elaborates something which should sink in with any common person in the world: “The reality is we’re in the middle of a pandemic and I was not working and I couldn’t get a job for the life of me, because West Side Story hadn’t come out yet,” said Zegler. With the complaints some of us make about how stuck-up Hollywood celebs are, this was a pretty straight-talk response.
Rachel Zegler absolutely hares the story of Snow White!
But we’re intent on having it both ways: we want straight-talking celebs, but also don’t want them pushing a “clearly” anti-men/girlboss agenda (though she never did say women had to be into power/being a “girlboss”) or this age of “representation”; so we’ll look hard for the worst possible meanings in her every word. And that’s where we are; people pre-determined to declare the absolute worst from Zegler’s casting and onward. We as a geeky community can do better!
Snow White releases in theaters on March 22nd, 2024! What is your opinion about actress Rachel Zegler and what she’s said about Snow White? Comment below! Check out this Geek News Now article offering a different view on the new Snow White direction! Also, subscribe to Geek News Now and give its Facebook page a like!