Disney defends new Hispanic-influenced princess
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Walt Disney Co is defending its newest princess following a backlash over her Hispanic-influenced ethnicity.
A new character named Sofia will star in the TV movie Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess airing Nov 18 on the Disney Channel and Disney Junior. Hispanic advocacy groups have questioned whether the fair-skinned, blue-eyed young princess is an accurate representation of the Hispanic population and wondered why Disney isn’t doing more to promote its first princess with Hispanic-inspired roots.
“They seem to be backpedaling,” said Ms Lisa Navarrete, spokesman for the National Council of La Raza. “They’ve done such a good job in the past when they’ve introduced Native American, African-American and Asian princesses. They made a big deal out of it, and there was a lot of fanfare, but now they’re sort of scrambling. It’s unusual because Disney has been very good about Latino diversity.”
Mr Craig Gerber, co-executive producer of Sofia the First, clarified in a Facebook post on Friday that Sofia is “a mixed-heritage princess in a fairytale world.” He said her mother and birth father respectively hail from kingdoms inspired by Spain and Scandinavia, though Sofia was born and raised in Enchancia, a “make-believe ‘melting pot’ kingdom” patterned after the British Isles.