Disney Defends New Hispanic-Influenced Princess

The Walt Disney Co. is defending their latest princess after a backlash over her Hispanic-influenced ethnicity.

Sofia, a new character who will star in the upcoming film Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess was once touted as Disney’s first Hispanic princess. However, with her fair skin and blue eyes, critics have questioned whether Sofia serves as an accurate representation of the Hispanic community – and why Disney hasn’t done more to promote her Latina influences.

Lisa Navarrete, spokeswoman for the National Council of La Raza, said:

They seem to be backpedaling. 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.

The co-executive producer of Sofia the First, Craig Gerber, took to Facebook to clarify a previous statement that was made defining Sofia as an Hispanic. In Gerber’s Facebook post, he says Sofia is “a mixed-heritage princess in a fairytale world.” Sofia’s mother and father hail from kingdoms inspired by Spain and Scandinavia, respectively.

Despite the media backlash, Disney defends the new princess – citing her “mixed heritage and blended family are a reflection of what many children today experience.”

Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess will air on the Disney Channel and Disney Junior November 18, 2013.


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