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Disney has a new Latina princess, Sofia

Little Sofia is already being criticized for appearing too 'white' to be a Latina.
Sofia the firstEnlarge
Disney's first Latina princess, Sofia, is already being criticized for not looking Hispanic enough. (DISNEY JUNIOR /Courtesy)

A new little princess is about to join the ranks of Belle, Cinderella, Tiana and Jasmine. Her name is Sofia and she's Disney's first Latina princess.

Princess Sofia will make her debut the Disney Channel on Nov. 18 in a made-for-TV movie called Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess, reports NBC News. 

According to a Disney Junior description of the show, Sofia's mother marries the King of Enchancia and now she "must learn how to act like a proper princess in time for her debut ball while overcoming her new step-sister's jealousy and the bumbling Royal Sorcerer's evil scheme to take over the kingdom." 

When questioned about why Sofia's mother Miranda has a darker complexion than the rest of the characters, Disney executive producer Jamie Mitchell told Entertainment Weekly, "She is Latina."

Unlike the 2009 release of Princess and the Frog where Disney marketed Princess Tiana as an African American girl, the network is downplaying Sofia's heritage.

“It’s sort of a matter-of-fact situation rather than an overt thing," added Mitchell. 

Little Sofia hasn't even made her debut yet but she's already being criticized for appearing too white to be a Latina

"The range of characters in ‘Sofia the First’ — and the actors who play them — are a reflection of Disney’s commitment to diverse, multicultural and inclusive storytelling, and the wonderful early reaction to ‘Sofia’ affirms that commitment," Disney said in a statement to NPR affiliate KPCC.

Disney's decision not to emphasize Sofia's Hispanic heritage upset some critics who wish the network would make her ethnicity more obvious to viewers. 

"Are they afraid that some people are not going to accept this princess because she is Latina?" Alex Nogales, President and CEO for the National Hispanic Media Coalition, a non-profit organization that promotes Latino equality in the entertainment industry, said to Fox Latino

Nogales added that Disney needs to have a better answer for why they're not promoting Sofia's Latin roots. 

“We need more heroes right now that are very identifiable,” says Nogales. “We’re in a time where Latinos are taking the blame for everything that is wrong with America. This is not a time to pussyfoot around. If you’re going to promote this to the public, and Latinos in particular, do us a favor and make it a real Latina."

Sofia the First movie will be followed by a 2013 TV series on both Disney Channel and Disney Junior.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/hollyworld/disney-has-new-latina-princess-sofia

Belen More than 1 year ago
My husband and I are 100% Mexican, brown eyes, brown hair, olive skin and we recently had a daughter. Her name is Sofia and she has light brown hair, fair skin and the bluest eyes. She doesn't look Mexican but she is. There are many white-looking Latinos, Hispanics, Chicanos (whatever you want to label them) out there but that doesn't mean they cannot identify with their culture. People need to stop judging others when its about the colors we are made of and appreciate the fact that we all have a rainbow of cultures from our past within us. We must respect what makes us different and learn from one another but not take looks so seriously. Open your eyes and see with your heart. :)
Connie HuaCal More than 1 year ago
I totally agree, Belen. I am Mexican-American "Latina" and as a little girl I resembled Pricess Sofia; fair skin, auburn hair and light eyes and often people tell me I don't looke like I'm a Latina. So, I in turn explain that the Latino community is incredibly diverse in the U.S. as well as in each Latin American country if you examine closely. Latinos are various mixes of European, Native, African and Asian ethnicities, so saying someone doesn't look "Latina" is like saying someone doesn't look "American."
KholmannP More than 1 year ago
Auburn hair and blue eyes with white skin are not normally associated with minorities. Disney found that when tan or dark skin is used the movie does not bring in as much money unless the body ethnic color is an integral part of the story. 'Tangled' seems to have done quite well and it looks like 'Frozen' will be a blockbuster also. Mattel found this out when they tried to sell 'black Barbies', they didn't sell well at all and the shelves contain only enough to satisfy the ethic protesters.
Clouded Crystal More than 1 year ago
My daughter has blond hair and hazel eyes and yes she is Latina. Not all latinos come in just one color.
stephanyxf More than 1 year ago
Sofia kind of look like Sarah my Brazillian friend and no Sofia is not two white two be a Latino princess, Brazil has different kind of color like my Grand Grand father was Born two Italian couple I think since he was born in Brazil and I do have Italian and Brazillian blood which is cool sure I may not look like Italian that much as Americans Italians do but that does not mean I m not Italian
stephanyxf More than 1 year ago
Eliane is a good name has well
stephanyxf More than 1 year ago
thank you Disney for the new Latina Princess when is it coming out this is makes me so happy can they name here Sarah or Milayne please or maybe or maybe jessica
stephanyxf More than 1 year ago
and maybe she this princess will look like the daughter of a friend of my this one is American Women married two Brazillian men they both are my friend thank
stephanyxf More than 1 year ago
that is nice that Disney is making a Latina Princess just don t know if they going two choice Brazillian portugese or spanish the frist langauge of this movie princess Latino are like little different my two best friend are different one luck just like American
1913Intel More than 1 year ago
You know the rule: No good deed goes unpunished. Disney is now getting a taste of it. I'm looking at the picture, and I don't see blue eyes. I even blew up the picture to see it better. Where are the blue eyes? Why can't Sofia come from Chile or Cuba? Are Mexicans the only Latinas?
Tracey Stahl More than 1 year ago
Next in the news, Muslim Mullah Abdullah elected King of England. Queen to step down to parliament. And Tibet gets a makeover- now being called Mao-land!
Mily Miracles More than 1 year ago
Not EVERY Latin/Hispanic child looks alike-my issue is having another 'ideal' that they don't fit into. The message being sent to the MAJORITY of non-Caucasian (looking) girls is that those (Anglo) features ARE the norm-which is dangerous considering how much media impacts the self-esteem of developing children who watch 30+ hrs of TV weekly. If a little girl DOESN'T fit into almost ANY 'ideal', how is she to feel? Also, why a TV movie? Why CAN'T she have the same mass marketing/publicity that Tiana had in 2009? I'd STILL have an issue with the commodification of our culture, but it doesn't seem fair to be underrepresented either. Regardless, I'm going to be upset about more than just her look, I've always had a problem with little girls being idealized into 'princess' gender roles; the majority of media allows for little to no flexibility in race OR gender stereotypes, and Disney is no exception to that. I had no idea I would be so upset about a Disney character, but, there you have it.
Mily Miracles More than 1 year ago
Not EVERY Latin/Hispanic child looks alike-my issue is having another 'ideal' that they don't fit into. The message being sent to the MAJORITY of non-Caucasian (looking) girls is that those (Anglo) features ARE the norm-which is dangerous considering how much media impacts the self-esteem of developing children who watch 30+ hrs of TV weekly. If a little girl DOESN'T fit into almost ANY 'ideal', how is she to feel? Also, why a TV movie? Why CAN'T she have the same mass marketing/publicity that Tiana had in 2009? I'd STILL have an issue with the commodification of our culture, but it doesn't seem fair to be underrepresented either. Regardless, I'm going to be upset about more than just her look, I've always had a problem with little girls being idealized into 'princess' gender roles; the majority of media allows for little to no flexibility in race OR gender stereotypes, and Disney is no exception to that. I had no idea I would be so upset about a Disney character, but, there you have it.
Ina More than 1 year ago
IDIOT! every Hispanic has European descent even Hispanics with dark skin tone.and plus Hispanics with light skin are always outcast-ed by there own race and people with dark skin.not every Hispanic has to look like Dora the explorer!don't you know the history yourself. well guess what read this "you so called Hispanic": yo soy cien por ciento boricua y yo soy de piel clarita, y yo aprendi en la escuela que todos los latinos, o varios de los latinos tienen ancestros de africa, los indios y de los espanoles, y ademas el lenguaje del espanol viene de los espanoles tambien.todos nosotros somos una mescla de diferentes diversidades. asi que no hablas porque me imagino que tu no eres 100% latino/a y eres un pendejos racistas !! no todos los latinos tienien que tener su piel oscuro, entonces idiota aprede tu historia bien!!!
Ina More than 1 year ago
and this goes to the racist latinos who think that true latinos only have tan and dark skin ! asi que callense la jodia boca a todos los latinos que son racista, por que no te mete la boca de ustedes en su jodio culo y largense par carajo!