When you’re a large media firm, sometime it seems like you just can’t win — just ask global media giant Disney (NYSE:DIS).
Its latest princess Sofia — from the new television show, “Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess” — is facing blowback after being presented as Disney’s first Latina princess.
At the center of the issue is Sofia’s appearance. With pale skin and blue eyes, she doesn’t match the standard representation of a Latina in the media. While some groups approved of the choice — saying it shows the a variation in Hispanic appearance — others criticized Disney for simply remaking their traditional princess look and labeling her Latina.
Complicating matters is the fact that Sofia’s mother, Mirand, is portrayed with darker skin and hair. She hails from the fictional land of Galdiz, which is based on Spain.
Disney representatives are trying to diffuse the controversy by claiming that all Disney princesses live in ethnically diverse fantasy worlds which cannot be totally mapped to the real world. Therefore, trying to assign certain cultural or racial labels to those fictional areas isn’t possible.
A Disney executive recently denied that Sofia’s heritage is Hispanic.