Latino actress Rachel Zegler has hit back at trolls after being cast as Snow White in Disney’s live-action remake of the 1937 animation classic.
The 20-year-old actress, who is also starring as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming West Side Story, will play the iconic Disney princess when production is expected to begin next year.
But since being cast in the role, trolls have questioned whether or not a Latino actress should play the traditionally white role.
Many have had an issue with the fact Zegler is of Colombian and Polish descent and believe that she does not fit in with the description of ‘skin as white as snow’.
Following the backlash, the actress has been unable to resist hitting back at the critics.
In a tweet, which she has since deleted, she said: “Yes I am Snow White. No, I am not bleaching my skin for the role.”
She added: “DO YOU FEEL THE CONTROVERSY COMING????”
Initially, Zegler had taken to social media to celebrate the news, calling it ‘a dream come true,’ and many of her fans were left overjoyed.
One said: “I AM FREAKING OUT STOP THIS!!!!!!!”
Another added: “Okayyy Latina Snow White!! So proud of you.”
Zegler’s casting has since been defended by the film’s director, Marc Webb, who has praised the star’s ‘strength, intelligence and optimism’.
He told AFP: “Rachel’s extraordinary vocal abilities are just the beginning of her gifts.
“Her strength, intelligence and optimism will become an integral part of rediscovering the joy in this classic Disney fairytale.”
Disney has previously come under fire for white-washing its princesses and choosing to cast white actresses to play non-white characters. But its casting of Zegler is not the first to receive racial backlash.
Back in 2019, trolls hit out following Disney’s announcement that R&B singer Halle Bailey was set to become the first Black princess in a live-action film in over 20 years, starring as Ariel in its remake of The Little Mermaid.
Words by Emily Brewster
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