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‘West Side Story’ Star Rachel Zegler Reportedly Invited to Present at the Oscars

Despite seven nominations for "West Side Story," lead actress Zegler was originally not invited to the 94th Academy Awards.

Rachel Zegler

Rachel Zegler

Sipa USA via AP

Tonight, tonight won’t just be any night at the Oscars for Rachel Zegler.

After revealing she was not invited to the 94th Academy Awards, “West Side Story” breakout star Zegler has reportedly been asked to be a presenter at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27.

Zegler is currently in London filming Disney’s “Snow White,” per The Hollywood Reporter, but the production schedule has now reportedly been shifted to accommodate Zegler’s Oscar appearance.

IndieWire has reached out to representatives at the Academy and ABC, which hosts the telecast, for comment.

“West Side Story” is nominated in seven Oscar categories, including Best Picture and Best Director for Steven Spielberg. Zegler revealed she was iced out from attending in an Instagram quip, writing in response to a fan asking about her Oscars attire, “I’m not invited so sweatpants and my boyfriend’s flannel.”

Zegler clarified, “IDK y’all I have tried it all but it doesn’t seem to be happening. I will root for ‘West Side Story’ from my couch and be proud of the work we so tirelessly did 3 years ago. 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. thanks for all the shock and outrage — I’m disappointed, too. but that’s OK. So proud of our movie.”

The news that Zegler was not initially invited to the ceremony drew social media backlash. Original “West Side Story” actor Russ Tamblyn, who played Riff in the 1961 big screen adaption, tweeted that it is the Academy’s “duty” to invite Zegler.

“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,” Tamblyn wrote.

Reports also suggested that it was up to Disney to provide tickets for Zegler, as studios receive an allotment of tickets from the Academy. There’s also the issue of the Academy downsizing its guest list from 3,300 to 2,500 out of COVID precautions.

The 94th Academy Awards has also drawn criticism over pre-recording eight Oscar categories and introducing new fan-voting awards.

Zegler, if she accepts the invitation, would join Lady Gaga, Tiffany Haddish, Woody Harrelson, Daniel Kaluuya, and Lily James, among other A-listers, as presenters. Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer, and Regina Hall will co-host the awards show.

The 94th Academy Awards will air live from the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, March 27 on ABC.

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