There has been alot of controversy over Disney's new movie which hasn't been released yet entitled "The Princess and the Frog". When creating a black character in a cartoon I guess you have to be extra careful as not to offend anyone (Al Sharpton or Oprah). To evade any backlash and prevent being called racist, or racially insensitive, Disney changed Princess Tiana's name from Maddy, which many thought was a "slave name". Disney even got Oprah on-board to contribute her voice as Princess Tiana's mother in the movie. However, Disney forgot something; Tiana's prince charming did not have the same features as her, or any other black person in America for that matter. Some people point out his light skinned skin tone, which could mean that maybe he's a light skinned brother, however features tell alot about a persons ethnic background. Many people believe that Disney's lack of creating a Black Prince may be sending the wrong message to little African American girls all over the world who are anxiously anticipating Disney's first black princess. What messages could that be?

I didn't think that African American girls would be affected by the fact that Disney has never created a BLACK PRINCE, as much as Young African American males would be affected. I don't think that Disney is in any manner being racist, however I don't like that when they were given the PERFECT opportunity to create an African American Prince, they failed to do so.

I applaud Disney for offering a black princess, but this is NOT the first time that they have given us an African American depicted as a Princess. Brandy played Cinderella in "The Wonderful World Of Disney: Rogers and Hammerstein Presents: Cinderella" and just like in "The princess and the Frog", they failed to incorporate a BLACK PRINCE.

As a female and mentor to youth in my neighborhood who lovessss and adores young black males (No R-Kelly), I believe that they actually have it just as hard, if not harder than females. My first thoughts had nothing to do with African American girls, instead i wondered would little African American Disney loving boys (YES boys watch Disney too) feel inadequate, thinking "Am I not good enough to be made into a Disney Prince?".

Posted By Shenda


Reen said... @ June 11, 2009 at 2:25 PM

I would say it sends a bad message to both, but boys don't usually go to princess movies, so those that don't go won't be as deeply affected. I believe the prince is supposed to be "middle eastern," I'm not sure what they are really trying to do with this. Sad that they believe the movie won't be successful if the whole cast of characters is black. I find it even sadder that they obviously didn't think to consult a focus group before they came up with the first idea, because they would have known a name like Maddy sounded slave-like, because there is an American Girls doll with a similar name that is - you guessed it - a slave! While I hope it does well, I hope that they will try to improve their inclusion of having people of different races in that actual planning process.

Ag said... @ April 27, 2011 at 9:29 AM

I am not gonna lie! I was very disheartened when the prince was not black it would have been great to promote black love in another avenue and kids learn A LOT from videos and movies subliminal messages are very effective. I wouldn't want my future daughter to think to be a 'princess' she can't be with a black man! I am all for promoting love, and since I am black, black love esp! Great write up!

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