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Rachel Zegler blasts ‘Snow White’ casting backlash: ‘People were angry’

Rachel Zegler isn’t going down without a fight. The breakout “West Side Story” star, 20, discussed her casting as a Latina Snow White in the upcoming Disney live-action film and the immense backlash she received. Zegler got candid with actor Andrew Garfield for Variety’s Actors on Actors roundtable where she blasted the hate. “When it was announced, it was a huge thing that was trending on Twitter for days, because all of the people were angry,” she told the “Eyes of Tammy Faye” star, 38. Garfield then quipped, “Ah, those people. The people that we need to educate. The people that we need to love into awareness.” “We need to love them in the right direction,” Zegler added about people who criticized her race. The New Jersey native continued, “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.” She then discussed with Garfield the 2012 black and white Spanish film “BlancaNieves,” which based on the 1812 fairy tale “Snow White” by the Brothers Grimm. “BlancaNieves is a huge icon whether you’re talking about the Disney cartoon or just different iterations and the Grimm fairy tale and all the stories that come with it. But you don’t particularly see people who look like me or are me playing roles like that,” Zegler said. “At the end of the day, I have a job to do that I’m really excited to do. I get to be a Latina princess.” Her casting for the new adaption was announced last year and she is set to star alongside Gal Gadot and Andrew Burnap in the movie musical. “Cyrano” star Peter Dinklage previously called out Disney and the movie. He accused the feature of stereotyping dwarves, despite the progressive decision to hire Zegler. “I’m just like, what are you doing?” the 52-year-old (who has a form of dwarfism) said on the “WTF With Marc Maron” podcast. Dinklage said he found the movie hypocritical as they were “very proud to cast a Latina actress as Snow White.” “You’re progressive in one way, but then you’re still making that f–king backwards story about seven dwarfs living in a cave together, what the f–k are you doing, man?” the “Game of Thrones” actor spewed. “Take a step back and look at what you’re doing there. It makes no sense to me.” Disney responded to Dinklage’s comments and said they would be rethinking the story and working with culture consultants to improve the script.

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