Rachel Zegler 'Was Not Expecting' Backlash Over Initial Oscars Snub (Exclusive)

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Rachel Zegler had no idea fans would run to her defense as quickly and as boisterously as they did after quietly revealing that she initially had not been invited to the 94th Academy Awards. And, naturally, she was shocked at the outpouring of support that ultimately led to an invitation.

The 20-year-old West Side Story star spoke with ET's Kevin Frazier and Nischelle Turner while walking the red carpet and said she wasn't expecting the Academy to swiftly spring into action.

"People were upset and I was not expecting it so it’s very wonderful to be here," she said. "I’m really thankful to the Academy for asking me to present and everyone at Snow White who was able to just let me get on a plane."

So, why the omission and who corrected it? Zegler has no clue!

"I’ll be honest, I don’t know and I don’t wanna know," she said. "I kind of just let it all -- the chips go where they did because I was really overwhelmed with the response to it because it was a comment I made on my own Instagram post. You don’t really expect that to make the news the next day -- and it was just a statement -- but we're here, we're happy, we're really thankful."

When she took the Oscars stage to present the award for Best Visual Effects alongside Euphoria star Jacob Elordi, Zegler quipped,  “I never thought I would be here…six days ago. Dreams do come true. Pretty fast, in fact.”

It was just last week when when Zegler took to Instagram and posted a picture of her evening gown. A fan commented they couldn't wait until they saw her outfit at the Oscars, and that's when Zegler replied in the comments section. 

"I'm not invited, so sweatpants and my boyfriend's flannel," the budding actress revealed.

The revelation drew outrage, especially considering that the Steven Spielberg-directed film is up for several awards, including Best Picture. The backlash was so intense, Zegler took to social media and implored fans to "respect the process."

ET has since learned that each film nominated for Best Picture gets an allotted number of tickets for the film, and it's the studio that disperses the tickets.

Zegler had been in London shooting Mark Webb's live-action Snow White for Disney.

Stay tuned to ETonline.com for complete Oscars coverage, including this year's winners.


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