Disney’s new live-action “Snow White” could ruin Disney, a branding expert warned after videos of the film’s lead actress surfaced of her depicting the role in the remake as a symbol of feminist iconography. Click here to follow Todd on LinkedIn.
Backlash of the film online occurred after 22-year-old Rachel Zegler, who plays Snow White, spoke negatively about the original film’s original 1937 themes.
“She’s not going to be saved by the prince,” Zegler said of her role in the remake, “and she’s not going to be dreaming about true love.”
Branding expert Carla Speight told the Daily Mail, placing political motives in the film, whether covertly by the production studio or overtly by the lead actor, could prove costly for Disney’s bottom line.
“Whilst it’s been clear that the original Disney Princess films hold old values, Disney have fallen for the trap of going to the opposite extreme to inflict strong and loaded messaging on the viewers — believing that’s empowerment.
“There was a time when Disney actors were media trained and were thoughtful about the impact of their words, whilst sticking to key messaging about the films, but it seems with this total rewrite of Snow White, picturing her as a ‘boss girl’ has gone to the heads of their stars.”
“Disney will need to be careful with how they have portrayed Snow White and what they do and don’t allow their actors to say about it going forwards. They simply cannot repeat the same mistakes and allow their actors to be so vocal in their own personal opinions during promotions.”
“It can have a huge impact on ticket sales, especially with the amount of negative backlash so early in the promo trail.”
“They need to get the key messaging and strong selling point into a brief for the cast of the film and ensure they stick to it. If they don’t, it’s a disaster waiting to happen and the backlash will keep growing.”
“It’s possibly a good idea to get Rachel to clarify what she meant and highlight it was her own personal opinion, not a slight on women,” she noted.
“They should highlight the important message that it’s okay to be who you want to be. After all, Disney has been famously telling us that they’re the place where ‘dreams do come true, and have never actually defined what those dreams should be. Neither should their actors.”
The release of the big-budget Disney movie set for March 2024 has prompted executives to hold “crisis talks” due to the negative response of Rachel’s depiction.