Oct 24, 2012 10:47 AM by Ryan Haarer

Disney responds to the Princess Sofia controversy

TUCSON- Disney's newest princess will hit the screen on the Disney Channel next month, but she's already at the center of a racial controversy.

When a producer of the show was asked about Princess Sofia's Spanish mother, he agreed Sofia is half Latina. But the Latino community says she doesn't look the part.

Sofia the First is a commoner turned royal in Disney's fantasy land of Enchancia. Her Spanish mother marries a Scandinavian king, launching Sofia into a fairy tale lifestyle. But Sofia's light brown hair, fair skin and blue eyes have some wondering just how Latina Disney wants her to be. Amidst the controversy, Disney went to Facebook to clarify the character's ethnicity.

"What's important to know is that Sofia is a fairy tale girl who lives in a fairy tale world. 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," posted General Manager of Disney Junior Worldwide, Nancy Kanter.

But, the Latino community says it's about time for a Latina princess and this wasn't the way to do it. "The way this one was launched, I think they received some criticism though, because of the fact that it's multi-racial in nature," said Lea Marquez Peterson, President and CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. "If you think you think of the Asian princess, she looked Asian, the African-American princess looked African-American and so on, and I think that's where the sensitivity is in the Latino community,"

For Disney's full post visit the "Sofia the First" Facebook page.


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