Disney has unveiled the first official image for the highly anticipated live-action remake of Snow White, reigniting the controversy surrounding the film. The photo features Rachel Zegler, dressed in Snow White's iconic gown, alongside the seven dwarfs in a sunlit cottage. Since the announcement of Zegler's casting, which led to racist trolling on social media, concerns regarding representation and stereotypes have been raised.
Zegler, a Latina actress, faced criticism for portraying the traditionally 'fair' German princess. In response to the backlash, she confidently defended her casting, stating, "Yes, I am Snow White, no, I am not bleaching my skin for the role." The film has also faced criticism from actor Peter Dinklage, who criticized the portrayal of the dwarfs as reinforcing stereotypes.
Addressing the controversy, Disney assured that cultural consultants were involved in the film's production, similar to previous remakes such as Aladdin and Mulan. Additionally, the studio claimed to have reimagined the dwarf characters to avoid perpetuating stereotypes from the original animated film.
Dinklage, during an interview promoting his new movie Cyrano, questioned the need to remake the "backward" Snow White story. He expressed confusion over the casting of a Latina actress while still adhering to the original storyline. Disney responded by emphasizing its commitment to consulting with the dwarfism community and taking a different approach to the dwarf characters.
Zegler echoed Disney's stance, explaining that the Snow White story needed refreshing to align with contemporary values. She acknowledged the film's label as "the PC Snow White" and embraced the necessity for a more inclusive adaptation.
The live-action Snow White is set to premiere in U.S. theaters on March 21, 2025. As the film progresses through its development, fans can anticipate further updates on how it addresses concerns surrounding representation and stereotypes.