I recently wrote about the first Latina princess in Disney’s money-making princess franchise, called Princess Sofia. No sooner had I suggested they get rid of the Latina label before her November debut, Disney waved their magic wand and ethnically cleansed Sofia.
She’s no longer Latina.
The vain part of me (which if you know me is the majority of me) would like to take credit for bringing Disney to its knees.
It wasn’t me.
Many others wrote about Princess Sofia and complained about her minimal Latino credentials and why she was an affront to some in the Latino community. It is not a position I shared but rather did not like the Latina-label because it appeared as an afterthought just meant to garner viewers for the ‘Sofia the First’ movie.
Disney, aka the toy-selling mafia, can snuff out a controversy like no one else. So on their Facebook page they basically presented Sofia as a mix of different backgrounds, a cultural mutt if you will.
Specifically they noted: “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.”
Disney informed us the animated cable movie incorporates a lot of cultural elements from Asian to Spanish to Scandinavian. The former-Latina Sofia’s mother, Miranda, comes from Gladiz “which was inspired from Spain”. However, Sofia is not Spanish, much like Romney is not Mexican though he was born to a father born in Mexico.
This makes as much sense as Disney’s WALL-E movie.
The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) met with Disney Senior Vice President, Nancy Kanter who informed them Sofia “is in fact not a Latina character” and that the TV producer misspoke when he identified her as such. Furthermore, NHMC was excited to share the news that Disney “has an exciting project in early development that does have a Latina as the heroine of the show.”
How early in development do we think this project is - like the inks not dry on the drawings? Early like I just made this up in my head while your sitting in my office bitching me out about cultural insensitivity?
Kanter, eager to close the Latina chapter of Princess Sofia said “I am eager for you and your children to meet Sofia and experience her world together!”
No thanks. Sofia sounds boring even for the 2-7 year-olds the movie is targeting and Disney sounds placating.