Disney’s New Hispanic ‘Snow White’ Sparks Debate

Photo edit of Rachel Zegler and the originally animated "Snow White."
Photo edit of Rachel Zegler and the originally animated "Snow White."

In a recent clarification, Disney has acknowledged the authenticity of photos leaked from the set of its upcoming live-action adaptation of Snow White, reversing its previous dismissal of them. The photos unveiled a modern interpretation of the fairy tale, in line with today’s political correctness standards, provoking mixed reactions.

An initial Daily Mail article provided a sneak peek into Disney’s reinterpretation, accusing the studio of transforming the iconic characters into enchanting creatures to comply with political correctness. The controversy stemmed from the depiction of Snow White, a character historically recognized for her fair and pale complexion, as portrayed by a Hispanic actress, Rachel Zegler and the seven dwarfs, traditionally small-sized, were reimagined as full-grown adults.

A stand-in filming on set for Snow White.
Actors on set of Snow White remake. BLACKGRID.

Actors on set of Snow White remake.
Actors on set of Snow White remake. BLACKGRID.

“Snow White,” a name derived from the original German fairy tale “Schneewittchen,” signifies her ashen skin, which stands in stark contrast with her red lips and ebony hair. The character’s image, popularized by Disney’s 1937 animated film, is deeply ingrained in global popular culture.

Initially, Disney denied the leaked photos’ authenticity and demanded a retraction from the Daily Mail. Subsequently, however, the studio acknowledged the photos’ legitimacy, though clarified they were unofficially released.

In response to criticism over the dwarfs‘ portrayal, Disney clarified that their new depiction was intended to dispel harmful stereotypes. Informed by consultations with the dwarfism community, these changes followed critiques by actor Peter Dinklage, renowned for his role in “Game of Thrones.”

Disney has previously been scrutinized for its adaptations of classic films, and the ongoing Snow White debate furthers conversations about representation and inclusivity in media.

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