Rachel Zegler is the classic Hollywood success story. After years of posting YouTube videos of her singing showtunes, the 20-year-old beat out thousands of other hopefuls to win the role of Maria in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story. Now she is following in the footsteps of many an A-listers before her by being a sneaky little liar, or at the very least a liar by omission.
You might have seen the news that Zegler was, in her words, “not invited” to the Oscars ceremony. The idea of one of the brightest new stars in movies — specifically the lead of a Best Picture nominee — would not be invited to the Oscars sparked outrage almost immediately.
“Idk y’all i have tried it all but it doesn’t seem to be happening,” Zegler said in the comments of her Instagram. “Thanks for all the shock and outrage — I’m disappointed, too.”
After approximately one million tweets in which cinephiles, Disney adults, and BuzzFeed readers decried this as the latest disastrous mistake from an Oscars producing team that has already alienated people who actually like watching the awards, Zegler herself contributed her two cents.
Now, to me, this reads as “I am working on a large-scale movie overseas, and traveling back to L.A. just for the weekend would be a nightmare for COVID protocols.” Not that she said that, why would she? She wanted to go to the Oscars! Something worth noting is that the film she is “so lucky to be currently shooting in london” is Disney’s upcoming live-action Snow White, which will become important later.
Yesterday, three days after Zegler’s original comments, it was announced that she would not only be attending the Oscars, but she would be a presenter.
In a follow-up tweet, Zegler noted that “being able to shoot a film the scale of snow white during COVID is not easy, and any adjustment to our schedule is no small sacrifice.”
Let’s all don our thinking caps for a moment and think about what might have actually happened here. The way I see it, there are two possible scenarios:
- The wicked producers at the Oscars did not invite Zegler to the ceremony, because they have some deep-seated hatred toward her. At the same time, Disney, which both owns ABC (where the Oscars air) and is producing Snow White, decided they didn’t want their newest star to attend for her movie, because they hate women, cinema, and brand synergy.
- Film sets adhering to COVID protocols have to be a well-oiled machine, and the star of a huge tentpole film jetting off thousands of miles away to mingle with hundreds of unmasked people for a night is not in any production’s best interest.
I guess we’ll never know.
Whatever the case may be, Zegler got her wish. She will be at the Oscars this Sunday, and I’m sure everyone working on Snow White is super chill with this last minute change to their schedule. To quote a different Disney princess, “A dream is a wish your heart makes when you’re obscuring the whole truth in your Instagram comments.”