It’s been quite a long while since Disney announced “The Princess and the Frog,” the first film of its kind to have a black princess as the main heroine, but the controversy regarding it just won’t die down. The most recent stills from the movie have only added more fuel to the fire, as the studio is accused by fans on the Internet of racism, several reports in the media can confirm.
Princess Tiana is the main heroine of “The Princess and the Frog” and also the first black princess to appear in a Disney film as the main focus of the story. Although Disney’s move in this sense was initially applauded, it is now getting a lot of heat not for the princess but for the male character. Prince Naveen of Maldonia, voiced by a Brazilian actor, is Tiana’s soul-mate and should, by all accounts, also be black – yet fans seem to think that he is actually one of the few white characters in the entire film.
There is absolutely no doubt that the prince is several shades whiter than his princess. While some fans have embraced Disney’s choice, saying it is the perfect example of the “melting pot America,” others are rushing to chart rooms and forums to vent their frustration. Disney is sending the wrong message with this film, most of them are pointing out, as in, that black love is not possible and certainly not commendable on the big screen.
“I think it’s sad that he is white because it’s saying that black love isn’t good enough and that black men could never be princes.” one fan shares on a dedicated forum, as cited by the Daily Mail. “Disney had the perfect chance to make its first black prince, but instead it decided to go the controversial route.” another one adds. One fan even notes that, while Disney has made the prince white, the villain is black – “I am very disappointed and I wished Disney had made the prince black, (and the ironic thing is the prince in the movie is white but the evil voodoo villain is voiced by a black actor and is black).”
“The Princess and the Frog” is scheduled for release in December 2009, which is why, so far, the fans have kept this more on dedicated forums without letting their anger spill in the media. Disney has not yet responded to the latest remarks regarding its racist take on the story, but keep an eye on this space for when it does.