First "The Little Mermaid," and now it's Snow White causing controversy online. Disney's new live-action film, which is scheduled for release on March 22, 2024, sparked anger on the internet when the Daily Mail unveiled images from the filming of the feature film. They show Snow White, played by Rachel Zegler, accompanied by seven "friends" who could well be the equivalent of the famous seven dwarfs.
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) July 14, 2023
In this case, the dwarfs were replaced by seven new characters, and only one was of short stature. The rest represented different ethnic groups and cultures. Social media began to fill with criticism against the film. Disney reacted to this by assuring Daily Beast that the images were fake: "The photos are fake and not from our production," said a company spokesperson.
Days later, Walt Disney Studios retracted their words and admitted that the photos did indeed belong to the live-action production, but that they were not official. A fact that was discovered when the Daily Beast published the following correction: "Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect that after Disney’s U.S. spokesperson initially declared the photos published by the Daily Mail was fake, they later said the photos were from the production but were not official photos."
Peter Dinklage, the cause of the change of the dwarfs in 'Snow White'?
Disney's decision to change the famous dwarfs could have been made after criticism launched by actor Peter Dinklage. He said on the podcast WTF with Marc Maron that if they changed the main character and she was no longer white, they might as well change the dwarfs so as not to offend little people:
Literally no offense to anyone, but I was a little taken aback when they were very proud to cast a Latina actress as Snow White — but you’re still telling the story of 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.' Take a step back and look at what you’re doing there. It makes no sense to me. You’re progressive in one way, but then you’re still making that fucking backward story about seven dwarfs living in a cave together?
In response to this, Walt Disney Studios issued a statement assuring that its new version of Snow White would take into account the wishes of little people. The company explained to The Hollywood Reporter that the dwarves would be "magical creatures" equivalent to the hobbits in “The Lord of the Rings” or the trolls in “Frozen.” Along with this, the company stated that they would talk to the dwarfism community:
To avoid reinforcing stereotypes from the original animated film, we are taking a different approach with these seven characters and have been consulting with members of the dwarfism community. We look forward to sharing more as the film heads into production after a lengthy development period.