Original West Side Story star criticises Oscars for not inviting Rachel Zegler

Russ Tamblyn noted Zegler’s starring role in the film and urged the Academy to ‘do right by her’.
Original West Side Story star criticises Oscars for not inviting Rachel Zegler

By Mike Bedigan, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

One of West Side Story’s original stars says Oscars organisers have a “duty” to find Rachel Zegler a seat after the actress revealed she had not been invited to the awards.

Russ Tamblyn, who played Riff in the 1961 version of the film, noted Zegler’s starring role in the 2021 remake and urged the Academy to “do right by her”.

It comes after Zegler shocked fans after replying to a comment on Instagram asking her what she would be wearing to the ceremony on Sunday

“I’m not invited so sweatpants and my boyfriend’s flannel,” she wrote.

The news caused uproar on social media, with many including Tamblyn weighing in on the situation.

“@TheAcademy as a voting member and the original Riff, let me say: it’s your duty to find Rachel a seat at the Oscars,” the actor wrote.

“She STARS in #Westsidestory which is nominated across the board. When they say representation matters, this is what that means.

“Please do right by her.”

Zegler stars as one of the film’s protagonists, Maria, alongside Ansel Elgort and Ariana DeBose in Steven Spielberg’s 2021 remake of the West End hit musical.

Britain Critics Choice Awards – Arrivals
Zegler stars as one of the film’s protagonists, Maria, alongside Ansel Elgort and Ariana DeBose in Steven Spielberg’s 2021 remake (Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

She previously thanked fans for their support and said she would “respect the process”.

“My goodness, folks!! appreciate all the support, I really really do,” she 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 x R.”

West Side Story has earned seven nods at this year’s Oscars, including best picture, the best director, best supporting actress, the best cinematography and best sound.

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