Over the past few weeks, Rachel Zegler has attracted aggressive backlash against her role as Disney’s live-action Snow White. The latest wave involves fake rumors that she was either fired from the movie, or Disney has canceled its release.
Initially spread by conservative culture war accounts, this backlash focuses on the idea that Zegler is disrespecting the 1937 animated Snow White. This stems from a handful of interviews where she mildly criticized dated elements of the film. In one, she jokingly refers to the prince as Snow White’s “stalker.” In another, she says the remake will de-emphasize Snow White’s love life.
As I’ve pointed out before, these comments appear to be part of Disney’s promo strategy, giving Snow White a modern rebrand. However, this was poorly received among conservative Disney fans, who labeled the remake “woke” and said Zegler seemed ungrateful. Others criticized her comments as “girlboss feminism” and “anti-romance.”
Now this backlash has expanded into fake news like this series of TikToks captioned “WOKE! Rachel Zegler BREAKS DOWN After Disney Dropped Her From Snow White!!!” They’re closing in on a million views each, joined by similar misinformation on YouTube.
@e.news.tv #disney #rachelzegler #snowwhite #news #parati #paratii #paratiii #paratitiktok #fyp #foryou ♬ original sound – E News Tv
This TikTok uses old clips, and Zegler hasn’t “broken down” or responded to anything. She literally can’t discuss Snow White right now, because it would violate SAG-AFTRA’s strike guidelines. Conveniently for her haters, this means she can’t defend herself.
Several accounts – including the official Daily Mail TikTok – have posted footage of a tearful Zegler saying “It’s hard. It’s lonely,” and talking about receiving death threats. They frame this as a response to recent Snow White discourse, but it’s actually from a 2022 vlog, reposted in an intentionally misleading way.
Why do people think Rachel Zegler was fired from Snow White?
These misinformation TikToks are basically fluff posing as news. They only exist because content creators have realized that anti-Zegler rumors are a surefire way to attract viewers. That’s the only reason why the Daily Mail would suddenly repost a year-old edited segment from Zegler’s YouTube channel.
In reality, Snow White hasn’t been canceled and Rachel Zegler hasn’t been fired. The movie is scheduled for release in March 2024 – although it will likely be delayed as Disney rearranges its release calendar around the strikes.
That predicted delay has nothing to do with Zegler. And in the grand scheme of Hollywood scandals, this controversy is barely a blip. Zegler’s only crime is giving some overly snarky interview quotes that went viral thanks to a hate campaign.
When the Snow White publicity tour ramps up again, we’re sure to see some damage control. Zegler will probably make some more positive comments about the 1937 movie. But by then it will be too late, because Snow White has already sparked a Last Jedi-style culture war.