When the newest Disney princess was revealed recently, some were outraged that the supposedly Latina youngster was redheaded and blue-eyed. Some were outraged at their outrage, pointing out that not all people of Spanish heritage have dark coloring and that it’s ridiculous to perpetuate such stereotypes.
Now, the ordeal seems to be over whether Sofia is actually Latina at all, after a Disney rep spoke up and said that she is a fictional character from a fictional, fairy-tale land meant to represent not just one culture but many.
The Disney Channel feature, called “Sofia The First: Once Upon A Princess”, is garnering a lot of attention due to the way Disney is choosing to market it. First, executive producer Jamie Mitchell said, “She is Latina” in an interview about Sofia, a significant remark since she would be the company’s first Latina princess. But Nancy Kanter, VP of programming at Disney Junior, corrected Mitchell in a later interview.
“What’s important to know is that Sofia is a fairy-tale girl who lives in a fairy-tale world,” said Kanter. “All our characters come from fantasy lands that may reflect elements of various cultures and ethnicities but none are meant to specifically represent those real world cultures.”
It seems Disney may have some explaining to do once the program airs, as the controversy doesn’t appear to be dying down anytime soon.
Fair-skinned, blue-eyed Sofia is the first Latina Disney princess and does lots of stereotypical Latino things like surfing and being Aryan.