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‘Little Mermaid’ Stands Behind ‘Snow White’ Actress After Racist Backlash

Halle Bailey Defends Rachel Zegler Snow White

For the past five to ten years, it has looked like Walt Disney Studios was primarily focused on finding success with live-action remakes. They have been hit or miss with fans. People loved movies like Beauty and the Beast¬†and¬†Aladdin.¬†But films like¬†Dumbo¬†and¬†Pinocchio were flops. Recently, it seems that Disney has been catching a lot of heat for making big changes to classic films.¬†The Little Mermaid was attacked by trolls who didn’t like that Ariel was black. And now¬†Snow White¬†is struggling with the same issue, since the lead actress — Rachel Zegler — is Columbian and Polish.

The Little Mermaid

Credit: Disney

Recently, pictures surfaced of a woman in a Snow White outfit and a group of various men portraying the dwarfs. Some were immediately enraged, claiming Disney had gone too far. But there was one issue with the complaint, the actress wasn’t Zegler and the pictures weren’t from Disney. Others immediately jumped to Zegler’s defense, calling out people for thinking her skin wasn’t the right color for the role.

Rachel Zegler West Side Story

Credit: 20th Century Studios

Rachel thanked her fans for their support, but said that they didn’t need to acknowledge the trolls. She didn’t want to see their meanness or negativity. Then, she received even more support from a fellow Disney princess — Halle Bailey, the talented actress who portrayed Ariel.

we love you so much ‚̧ԳŹtruly the perfect princess

Despite all the backlash Bailey and Disney received,¬†The Little Mermaid¬†has been incredibly successful, making nearly $250 million. It was also received incredibly well by audiences, currently sitting at a 94% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s entirely possible that¬†Snow White could see the same kind of success, with fans showing up with their love and their wallets.

More on Disney’s New Snow White

Plans for a live-action version of¬†Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs have been in the works since 2016. Then, in 2021, Disney announced that they had cast¬†West Side Story¬†actress Rachel Zegler as the titular princess. The backlash was swift, as trolls took to social media to call Disney “woke”, claiming that Zegler’s skin was not pale enough to suit the role. In a now-deleted post, Zegler said that she would be playing Snow White, and she would not be bleaching her skin to do it.

Rachel Zegler Snow White

Credit: Splash News/Disney

With its new live-action Snow White, Disney has not only modernized Snow White’s look, but also her story. Zegler has spoken about the new story and said it won’t be for the “male gaze”, like the original animated version. The actress said that the new film will show Snow White making decisions for herself, giving the young woman more agency.

Snow White is scheduled to be released in theaters on March 22, 2024. The movie will also star Gal Gadot as the Evil Queen. Andrew Burnap will play the role of Jonathan, who has replaced Prince Charming from the original film.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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