Monday, August 31, 2009

Disney Controversy?

This weekend I chanced upon a certain controversy that had been brewing over the last two years that I was totally unaware of. Disney was making a darker skinned girl their princess in their upcoming animation- The princess and the frog. She’s from New Orleans and is to be called Princess Tiana. It’s a beautiful idea if you ask me, as it will give the self image of little black girls a boost. God knows we’ve waited for this long enough. I was even one of those little girls who had to imagine myself ‘white’ before a knight in shining amour could come to my rescue, whisk me away and live happily ever after.

Okay, back to the point. Originally Princess Tiana was to have been called Princess Maddy, but pressure groups didn’t like the name because it was to plain. Really? What did they want LaShauna, Shaquinta, Levondia? Then we come the princess’ role, she was to have been a chamber maid, fall in love with the frog, kiss him, frog turns into a prince, they marry she becomes a princess and they live happily ever after. Nice? No, according to the pressure group, well, depicting a black girl as a chamber maid is so stereotypical. So with that, they made Princess Tiana a real princess from New Orleans. Do we have royalty in New Orleans? Don’t Americans abhor royalty? I thought Cinderella was a cinder maid. What about giving people the hope that they can become ‘something’ someday?

Aren’t we taking all this to a whole different level? Is there a fine line between affirmative action and ridiculous? Please educate me because I think it’s a little ridiculous.


  1. hmmm... I thought about blogging about this for a while but decided not to! Hmm.. oh and in the preview, she turns into a frog too after kissing Prince froggy- so kinna like Shrek. With the name, I guess Tiana is a much better afarican American name than Maddy 'cos I honestly never met a Maddy who was African American. There was a lot of talk about the Prince too 'cos he is not African American. I think he's Hispanic.(not too sure on that)

    As far as the princess theme is concerned, I don't know how else they could have done it without causing a lot of controversy due to the history of slavery and relations with slave masters. Oh well, we'll see when it's out.

  2. I took a fairy tale class for fun last semester, and we watched the preview for the movie. I remember someone was them to make the black girl kiss a frog. It was kinda funny n we laughed, but no1 really took that seriously, maybe cos the person who said it wasn't black american they knew twas just a joke. But yeah, personally I think black Americans take things too personally. They seriously need to get it together. It ridiculous, caucasians need to check everything thing they do or say in order not to sound racist. I understand that they went through the painful experience of slavery, ok their forefathers, and are still paying the price for it, but come on, instead of them concentrating on such random trivialities, why don't they focus on getting ahead in school, and making the most out of the little opportunities they have been givin, no matter how small. Sooner or later the world will realize their worth. What has the fact that Tiana is a maid got to do with anything, when we really think about it. Half the disney stories have that kinda story. Its supposed to serve as a lesson and inspiration that everything is possible, and one can move from something to nothing either through virtue, wisdom and/or perseverance. I'm sure if the kids name was Moesha, or Shequana or something too they'll complain. its hard oh, they should go and complain about starving kids and stop focusing on the wrong things.
    ok, i've taken this way too personal. lol

  3. True, Shels. The whole race-blame game thing is something I've constantly argued about. Fine we suffered, it's over, now move on and make something out of your life and stop blaming your failures and inadequacies on an ancient occurrence and a phenomenon that will never go away. Certain people will always look down on other people and deprive them of certain opportunities for one reason or another, it's not fair but it's life and it's only worth living when you can look past this at the potential you have to achieve.

    About the princess, Disney has forced, the black princess fairytale is loooong overdue but its finally here, and we should all be thankful.I think the pressure group is being a bit too demanding/trivial and Disney is complying because they feel they owe it to their black audience.

    On the frog bit,though, I'm going to have to agree with them though; the first ever black princess you make and she not only gets the frog prince but turns into one too? C'mon, that's more than a little insulting along the racial lines...Fine, maybe its all for a good laugh (the trailer is pretty funny) but is that in itself not too stereotypical? Snow White, Little Mermaid and
    Sleeping Beauty all had less derogatory plots

    *Another reason why 'Maddy' was booted was because it was reminiscent of a slave name...dicey issue
    *There's a whole video blog I watched on this on youtube...I think the channel was essenceoftruth.

  4. At first glance it appears to me that it is political correctness gone quite mad. Having lived through American societal sensitivities I accept that there is much more to it than that and that the sordid history of race-relations in America make sensitivity necessary even today. However, I agree with the other comments that sometimes it borders on the completely ludicrous. At some point, there has to be some moving on without forgetting the past. Right?

  5. a black princess from new orleans, well thats a new one. hehehehe
    people wake up . stereotypes are not going anywhere you just have to live with them. race, ethnicity, men, women. you name it there is a stereotype.

  6. Since my post already expressed my view, I have nothing further to add to the comments. Except that sometimes all this political correctness becomes almost like reverse discrimination. I am all for equal opportunities for and yellow, black and white! Peace and love.

  7. Grrrr, this whole 'debate' annoys me! The story is the frog prince and guess what...she kisses a frog. The story was written centuries ago and that's how it goes for goodness sake!

    Now, should Disney make a whole new fairy tale because the girl is black, so that stereotypes are removed, HELL NO! So what, now black people cannot be in normal fairy tales, wouldn't that make a whole new political correctness issue.

    Fairy tales ARE in their very nature stereotypical, duh. Political correctness gone horrendously wrong. Why are some people always looking to be offended? To be honest if none of these 'issues' were pointed out to me I wouldn't even notice them. These are the same people who campaigned for a black princess being necessary (don't really see that it's necessary at all, but let's move on), you got a black fairy tale princess, so now watch the damn fairy tale and shut up! waiting for the barrage of hate...

  8. hehe.Nsoromma...Child of the Heavens. You remind me so much of my friend Awansonna. I think y'all would get along so well, because everything you write sounds exactly like him.

    Now on to the movie, i don't even know what i think about it. Wasn't aware of it, so thanks for blogging about it. I'd just wait to see it. When does it come out?

  9. It comes out in December. Even that was an issue because they say Disney always brings out their good movies in the summer, when the sales are high...and put it on DVD by December for the holiday season. But because there is a black heroine... So now Disney is sabotaging their own movie? Wow. Talk of the conspiracy theory! hehehe. Lets all wait and see.

  10. Coming from Africa,, we sometimes find some of the sensitivities of Black Americans ridiculous. For instance, if other races exhibit the same rude attitude as they sometimes put up, they are labeled as discriminatory. A black American girl actually told me she has a right to have an attitude. If a white person puts on even a fraction of such a behaviour, they will be the first to scream RACIST.
    It must be stressful for white people and business expecially to make a accomodate all these factors. I will not want to be in Disney's shoes.

  11. Neither would I, Guruool, neither would I.