Actress Rachel Zegler is starring in Disney’s latest live-action remake of “Snow White,” and continues to court controversy due to her comments on the project. Production was recently halted due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA and WGA strike. In press appearances leading up to the strike, Zegler frequently alluded to several major plot changes in her upcoming iteration of the beloved princess tale. Disney’s original “Snow White” was first released in 1937.
The film served as Disney’s first ever technicolor film, and has already had two live-action redos in the 2010s, “Mirror Mirror” and “Snow White and The Huntsman”. In the original film’s plot, loosely pulled from the original tale from The Brothers Grimm, an innocent Snow White has a target on her head from her evil stepmother who is envious of her beauty. The princess runs away and hides out with seven friendly dwarves, until the Queen disguises herself and poisons Snow White with an apple that puts her into a coma. The coma can only be broken by the kiss of a prince.
The plot laid the groundwork for numerous similar fairytales. A viral clip of Zegler insinuating that her Snow White portrayal will not be saved by a prince due to this archaic story trope continues to find viral attention and heated commentary. In the video, Zegler says that it is “not 1937”, and costar Gal Gadot quips that she will “not be saved by a prince.”
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A Tale Of Two Arguments
There are two different viewpoints finding fault with the new “Snow White” adaptation. Some conservative media personalities are accusing Disney of going “woke” and “ruining” the movie with feminism.
Other more progressive viewers feel that Zegler’s comments cast the character into a common trap within contemporary feminism–that women need to choose between romantic love and power or careers. Many agreed that a modernized re-write could do the film’s premise some good, but that tossing the romantic element was unnecessary.
Many are reminding audiences that “girlboss feminism” is not the only option. The point of feminism at its core is equality of the sexes in contemporary society, and this means women from all walks of life, whether they choose to be leaders, homemakers, or both.
Others argue that this form of modernized remake is overdone and has become predictable. Many point to a more recent princess cartoon from Disney, the 2009 version of “Princess And The Frog.” In the film, Princess Tiana works towards opening her own successful restaurant in New Orleans, and falls in love with Prince Naveen. This film was able to seamlessly mix together the original storyline with a more contemporary one, and many are confused as to why over a decade later Disney may have taken a step back.
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Zegler is yet to comment further on the controversy surrounding her comments. The actress continues to appear on the SAG-AFTRA picket line.