Over the past few days, the unearned backlash against Rachel Zegler reached a fever pitch. The latest wave focuses on two resurfaced interview clips about Disney‘s live-action Snow White, initially spread by right-wing accounts like @EndWokeness on X.
In one of the videos, Zegler admits that she only watched Snow White once as a kid. The other is an interview from Disney’s D23 convention, where she critiques the gender politics of the 1937 Snow White. Joking that the prince was a stalker, she says the remake will put less emphasis on Snow White’s love life.
These clips inspired a wild amount of backlash on both TikTok and X, bearing all the hallmarks of a right-wing hate campaign going mainstream. While some of the negative comments are openly racist or misogynistic (ie. saying the film will flop due to “wokeness”), many appear to come from young women who just label Zegler annoying, ungrateful, or smug.
As we pointed out last week, Zegler’s remarks about Snow White simply reflect how Disney wants to market the remake. It’s the same promo strategy we saw for other Disney princess remakes, advertising a modern update on a vintage fairytale. The goal is to give the classic Disney princesses a more empowering rebrand.
As these clips went viral, Zegler attracted plenty of defenders. After all, she hasn’t actually done anything wrong.
However right-wing accounts have clearly figured out that badmouthing Rachel Zegler is a great way to drive engagement. Zegler’s Snow White has become a culture war issue, pitting a piece of nostalgic feminine iconography against the supposed evils of a “woke” remake.