West Side Story actor Rachel Zegler has revealed she won’t be attending the Oscars ceremony because she wasn’t invited.
Zegler, 20, made her debut as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of the Broadway classic which was released last year.
The film has received a total of seven Oscar nominations this year, including Best Supporting Actress for Zegler’s co-star Ariana DeBose and Best Direction for Spielberg.
Despite that, the movie’s breakout star Zegler hasn’t made it to the ceremony’s list of invitees.
On Sunday (20 March), Zegler told her Instagram followers she would “root for West Side Story from my couch” after a social media user expressed excitement over the actor’s red carpet outfit.
Zegler had posted a series of photos on Instagram, under which a user commented: “Can’t wait to see what you’ll be wearing on Oscar night.”
Responding to the comment, Zegler said she would be wearing “sweatpants and my boyfriend’s flannel” because she hadn’t been invited.
In a separate comment, she continued: “Idk y’all I have tried it all but it doesn’t seem to be happening.”
“I hope some last minute miracle occurs and I can celebrate our film in person but hey, that’s how it goes sometimes, I guess,” Zegler said, adding, “Thanks for all the shock and outrage – I’m disappointed too.”
Zegler’s fans condemned the Academy of Motion Pictures and Arts, which organizes the Oscars, for snubbing the actor.
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A Twitter user wrote: “It’s so befuddling how disconnected the Academy is from the younger generation of fans. At a time when they are trying to gain viewership, this does the opposite to an important demographic.”
Another social media user tweeted: “I’m sorry… WHAT THE FLYING F*** IS GOING ON HERE?! Rachel Zegler is the star of a movie that could win best pic. She’s one of the top rising stars in the biz. There are people presenting who have zero connection to the biz. This is ridiculous and needs to be corrected.”
Born to an American father and Colombian mother, Zegler became the first Latina actress to win the Golden Globe award for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical for her performance in West Side Story. She is also the youngest winner in that category.
In a tweet late last night, Zegler expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support she had received since she revealed she would have to watch the Oscars from her home.
She also said: “We live in such unprecedented times, and a lot of work behind the scenes goes into making movie magic happen. That goes for film productions (like the one I am so lucky to be currently shooting in London)… and awards shows alike. Let’s all just respect the process and I’ll get off my phone.”
West Side Story is up for the Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Design, Best Costume, and Best Production Design Oscars, in addition to DeBose and Spielberg’s nominations.
You can find the full list of Oscar nominations here.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.