Ben Shapiro has faced derision for his “bigoted” grievances regarding Disney’s choice to cast Rachel Zegler as Snow White. In 2021, the announcement surfaced that the accomplished actor from West Side Story had secured the iconic princess role in the forthcoming live-action adaptation of Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, slated for 2024.
Following the dissemination of “misleading” set photos, numerous critics questioned the decision to cast Zegler, a Latina woman, for the part. Shapiro, known for his conservative commentary on his radio show, The Ben Shapiro Show, shared his views on the matter. Asserting that the name “Snow White” derives from the actual fairytale and citing a description from the original 1937 movie, he emphasized the phrase “Skin as white as snow” in connection to the character’s name.
Shapiro acknowledged Zegler’s exceptional talent while expressing perplexity over the casting choice. He contended that certain roles inherently possess racial specificity, and Snow White is a prime example due to the implication in her name. The commentator pondered the peculiar acceptance of casting Alexander Hamilton, a historical figure, as a Black person, compared to the presumed uproar if Martin Luther King were portrayed by a white actor.
In response to the ensuing criticism, some Twitter users labeled Shapiro’s comments as “bigoted,” highlighting that the character’s ethnicity bears no relevance to the essence of the story. One individual explained that in the novel, white symbolizes purity, red represents life and adventure, while black signifies death; thus, it pertains not to the character’s skin color.
Amidst the backlash, another Twitter user humorously pointed out the flaw in Shapiro’s reasoning, quipping, “Jack Black isn’t black, though.”
Addressing the ongoing discourse, Zegler urged her fans not to tag her in the nonsensical discussions surrounding the casting controversy. In a Twitter response, she expressed her gratitude for the support while voicing her desire to avoid engaging with the negativity. Instead, she shared endearing childhood photos of herself dressed as a princess, advocating that every child should embrace their inner royalty, regardless of any external factors.