A soon-to-be-released animated Snow White parody has come under fire after its promotional poster in Cannes depicted shorter, curvier princess and asked, “What if Snow White was no longer beautiful and the 7 Dwarfs not so short?”
Red Shoes & the Seven Dwarfs is a Korean-made, English-language film staring Chloë Grace Moretz. Its premise: The dwarfs are actually cursed princes, seeking a pair of magical red shoes that will transform them back to their original stature. But those shoes belong to Snow White, who also uses them to transform herself from a short, rounder woman into a tall, slender one.
The controversy around the film and its premise began when Kyle Buchanan, a New York Magazine reporter, and Tess Holliday, an outspoken plus-size model, spotted the Cannes poster that suggested a bigger Snow White was not a beautiful Snow White.
“How did this get approved by an entire marketing team?” she Tweeted, tagging Moretz. “Why is it okay to tell young kids being fat = ugly?”
Both Tweets drew thousands of likes and retweets, eventually prompting a response from both Moretz and the production company. “I am just as appalled and angry as everyone else, this wasn’t approved by me or my team,” Moretz wrote on Twitter. “The actual story is powerful for young women and resonated with me. I’m sorry for the offence [sic] that was beyond my creative control.”
In a statement to the New York Post, Locus Corporation, the production company behind Red Shoes & the Seven Dwarfs, apologized and promised the ad campaign would be “terminated.”
“Our film, a family comedy, carries a message designed to challenge social prejudices related to standards of physical beauty in society by emphasizing the importance of inner beauty,” a spokesperson said. “We appreciate and are grateful for the constructive criticism of those who brought this to our attention.”
That may not be the only controversy the film faces. The trailer depicts two dwarfs hiding under the furniture, watching as Snow White disrobes in the evening.
“A trailer with dwarves watching her undress?” one Twitter user wrote in response to Holliday’s original post. “A little bit rapey. Great for the kids.”
“The trailer to this movie is HORRIFYIING,” another Twitter user wrote. “Voyeurism, Invasion of Privacy AND Body Shaming?!! #Boycott.”
The film is due to be released in 2018.
— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.