Halle Bailey supports fellow Disney princess Rachel Zegler amid ‘Snow White’ backlash

Rachel Zegler posing in a beige dress, left, and Halle Bailey smiling in a shimmery blue dress.
Rachel Zegler, left, and Halle Bailey play Snow White and Ariel, respectively, in the Disney princess cinematic universe.
(Charles Sykes / Invision/AP; Jordan Strauss / Invision/AP)

The live-action Disney princesses are sticking together amid another wave of backlash to the studio’s latest remake.

Over the weekend, Halle Bailey voiced her support for fellow actor Rachel Zegler after leaked production photos from the set of “Snow White” reignited outrage over the cast of the film. Bailey portrays Ariel in the 2023 version of “The Little Mermaid,” while Zegler is set to star in Disney’s upcoming revival of “Snow White.”

“Extremely appreciative of the love i feel from those defending me online, but please don’t tag me in the nonsensical discourse about my casting,” Zegler tweeted on Monday. “i really, truly do not want to see it.”


The 22-year-old “West Side Story” and “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” star also shared some adorable photos of herself in costume as Snow White when she was a little girl, adding, “i hope every child knows they can be a princess no matter what.”

‘no i am not bleaching my skin for the role,’ tweeted ‘West Side Story’ breakout Rachel Zegler after being cast as Snow White in Disney’s remake.

June 22, 2021

Immediately coming to Zegler’s defense was not Prince Charming but another Disney princess, Bailey, who tweeted, “we love you so much ... truly the perfect princess.”

“my sweetest girl,” Zegler replied. “i love you always.”

Zegler and Bailey’s heartwarming Twitter exchange occurred a day after the Daily Mail published photos from the set of “Snow White.” The images depict the titular maiden and seven companions — seemingly of varying ages, genders, races and sizes — that appear to be the live-action remake’s equivalent to “the Seven Dwarfs” from the original film.

Initially, Disney told the Daily Beast the behind-the-scenes photos were “fake.” The studio later clarified that the pictures were taken from the real set in Berkshire, England, but insisted they were not official images released by the production. Disney also confirmed that stand-ins for Zegler and Andrew Burnap appear in the photos instead of the actors.

Halle Bailey’s groundbreaking casting as Princess Ariel in Disney’s ‘Little Mermaid’ remake was met with a racist backlash on social media.

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When the Daily Mail report surfaced, conservatives on social media were quick to mock what they deemed a “woke” and “politically correct” approach to casting the Disney film. Much of the criticism included racist remarks about Zegler, who is of Colombian and Polish descent.


Zegler already addressed the uproar over the movie last year, telling Vanity Fair, “People are making these jokes about ours being the PC Snow White, where it’s like, yeah, it is — because it needed that. It’s an 85-year-old cartoon, and our version is a refreshing story about a young woman who has a function beyond ‘Someday My Prince Will Come.’”

She also tweeted, “yes i am snow white no i am not bleaching my skin for the role,” shortly after her casting was announced.

“Snow White” is not the first live-action Disney remake to get a hateful response online. When Bailey was tapped to play Ariel in 2019, the internet was awash with racist complaints about her casting, paired with the hashtag #NotMyAriel.

After one person tweeted in September 2022 that they approved of Zegler’s casting in “Snow White” but not Bailey’s casting in “The Little Mermaid,” Zegler replied, “if you don’t support my girl halle, who is the perfect ariel, you don’t support any of us.”