Rachel Zegler, the 22-year-old actress set to portray Snow White in Disney’s upcoming live-action adaptation, has stirred controversy with her recent comments about the original 1937 film.
The actress openly admitted her dislike for the classic movie, even going so far as to call the Prince character a “stalker.” Such statements have raised concerns among branding experts about the potential impact on ticket sales.
In various interviews, Zegler spoke negatively about the original film, noting that her Snow White “won’t be saved by the prince” or dream about true love. This has led to criticism from some who have accused her of “gaslighting” and being a “fake feminist.”
Branding expert Carla Speight weighed in on the situation, expressing that “Whilst it’s been clear that the original Disney Princess films hold old values, Disney have fallen for the trap of going to the opposite extreme to inflict strong and loaded messaging on the viewers – believing that’s empowerment… it seems with this total rewrite of Snow White, picturing her as a ‘boss girl’ has gone to the heads of their stars.”
She went on to say that such outspoken personal opinions from actors, especially during promotions, can seriously impact ticket sales. Her recommendation: Disney needs to provide clear messaging to the cast and avoid such controversies in the future. Additionally, Zegler should clarify her statements, stressing that they reflect her personal opinion, not a general stance on women.
Public relations professional Nick Ede shares similar sentiments. He pointed out that Zegler, despite being the lead actress, might not be the best choice for promoting the film due to her divisive comments.
Ede specifically contrasted Zegler’s approach with that of Halle Bailey’s portrayal of The Little Mermaid, and argued that Zegler’s comments, rather than focusing on the fresh perspective her Snow White might bring, seemed dismissive of the original movie. He warned that this could cast a shadow on the movie’s promotion, making it challenging for Disney to generate positive buzz.
The negative response from fans was not limited to expert opinions, with users on social media platforms like TikTok and Twitter expressing their distaste as well.