Controversy Surrounding Disney’s Newest Princess Sofia
Calling all young girls…okay, who are we kidding? Calling all Women, young and old alike, Disney has a new princess and her name is Sofia. Disney’s newest princess is set to debut on the Disney Channel on November 18th in her made-for-TV movie, “Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess.”
Sofia will be joining the ranks of Cinderella, Snow White, Jasmine, and Tiana and taking her rightful place as Disney’s newest and youngest princess. But, little Sofia is making her debut to the world already surrounded by controversy.
When Disney executive producer Jamie Mitchell was asked by Entertainment Weekly about why Sofia’s mother (Miranda) has a darker complexion than the rest of the characters he simply responded, “She is Latina.”
Causing some controversy is the feeling by some that Disney is downplaying Sofia’s heritage on purpose because Disney believes people will not accept her based on her heritage that she is Latina.
“Are they afraid that some people are not going to accept this princess because she is Latina?” Alex Nogales, President and CEO for the National Hispanic Media Coalition, a non-profit organization that promotes Latino equality in the entertainment industry, said to Fox Latino.
“Princess and the Frog” was where the first African-American princess was marketed with Tiana and Disney did not downplay the heritage or Tiana in any way, and some feel Sofia is not getting the right amount of respect and attention.
“It’s sort of a matter-of-fact situation rather than an overt thing,” added Mitchell.
Some people have further criticized Sofia saying she appears to white.
“Why call her a Latina and not say anything about it?” said Alex Nogales, president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, a Pasadena-based media advocacy group. “Nobody had any problem with Dora.” He added, “Her mother is Latina, but the chid is white. Yes, we do come in all colors, but the majority of us are brown.”
“We need more heroes right now that are very identifiable,” says Nogales. “We’re in a time where Latinos are taking the blame for everything that is wrong with America. This is not a time to pussyfoot around. If you’re going to promote this to the public, and Latinos in particular, do us a favor and make it a real Latina.”
Disney sees it different and responds to the critics.
“The range of characters in ‘Sofia the First’ — and the actors who play them — are a reflection of Disney’s commitment to diverse, multicultural and inclusive storytelling, and the wonderful early reaction to ‘Sofia’ affirms that commitment,” Disney said in a statement to NPR affiliate KPCC.
Do you think Disney is on purpose downplaying Sofia’s race is Latina or do you think Disney’s newest princess, Sofia, is going to be a hit with girls everywhere regardless of her race and coloring? I am interested in your opinion, so please let me know in the comments below!
- Disney’s Youngest Princess Makes Her Primetime Debut in “Sofia The First” (chipandco.com)
- Apply to Host a Disney Junior Princess Sofia House Party (couponingtodisney.com)