Rachel Zegler responds to racist backlash she received after being cast as Snow White

2 February 2022, 16:00

By Sam Prance

Rachel Zegler is the first Latina actress to play Snow White in a live-action major motion picture.

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Rachel Zegler has addressed the racist backlash she faced after being cast as the lead in Disney's live-action Snow White.

Last year (Jun 22), Disney confirmed that West Side Story star Rachel Zegler would be playing the titular role of Snow White in their upcoming live-action adaptation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The decision to cast a Latina actress in the role was met with widespread praise online. However, there was also some racist criticism following her casting.

Now, Rachel has addressed the "angry" comments and opened up about what playing the part of Snow means to her.

READ MORE: Peter Dinklage slams Disney over "backwards" new live-action Snow White movie

Rachel Zegler responds to racist backlash she received after being cast as Snow White
Rachel Zegler responds to racist backlash she received after being cast as Snow White. Picture: Erik Pendzich / Alamy Stock Photo, Allstar Picture Library Ltd. / Alamy Stock Photo

Speaking about the role with Andrew Garfield in Variety's Actors on Actors, Rachel explained: "Never in a million years did I imagine that this would be a possibility for me. You don't normally see Snow Whites that are of Latin descent. Even though Snow White is really a big deal in Spanish-speaking countries."

Rachel added: "Blanca Nieves is a huge icon whether you're talking about the Disney cartoon or just different iterations and the Grimm fairy tale. She is really big in the Spanish language but you don't particularly see people who look like me or are me playing roles like that."

Rachel Zegler responds to racist backlash she received after being cast as Snow White
Rachel Zegler responds to racist backlash she received after being cast as Snow White. Picture: MARKA / Alamy Stock Photo

As for the racist backlash, Rachel said: "Ah, those people. The people that we need to educate. The people that we need to love into awareness. When it got announced, it was a huge thing that was trending on Twitter for days, because all of the people were angry. We need to love them in the right direction."

READ MORE: Disney say live-action Snow White will take a “different approach” to the seven dwarfs

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