Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Controversial Non-Controversy

The problem for any company ... or labor organization? ... in the 21st century is, no matter what they do, someobdy doesn't like it. For instance this long-percolating "issue."

While some of the changes made by Disney to its upcoming animated feature "The Princess and the Frog" ... have been applauded by critics, the UK's Times reports that others, including the princess' love interest, are drawing accusations of racial insensitivity.

... Oddly enough, though, Princess Tiana is black; her prince is not. That's right – even though there is a real-life black man in the highest office in the land with a black wife, Disney obviously doesn't think a black man is worthy of the title of prince.

Uh ... brief note to whoever:

The President of the United States is of mixed race, just like several of President Tom Jefferson's kids (Tom being white, Sally Hemmings being mixed race ... like the current Commander-in-Chief.)

Or as President Obama says of himself: "A mutt."

Given all that, I think the anger about the racial makeup of these particular cartoon characters is a trifle ... misplaced?

Besides which, who's saying the Prince isn't mixed race?

Just asking.


Kevin Smith said...

Well it really doesn't matter because someone somewhere will find something to be upset over, no matter if the characters are black or white (hums Michael Jackson).

sappy fillmore said...

I think it's quite advanced when we DON'T think about the prince's race. I think it's great that she falls in love with him for love and his color has nothing to do with it.

Isn't that what it's supposed to be about? Judging people for who they are not what they look like?

This person sounds like they're just looking for a reason to complain.

Floyd Norman said...

Guys! Guys! Guys! (as our former boss would say)

The story takes place in the American South in the 1920’s. There’s no way Big Daddy would let his daughter have the hots for a black man. Get real!

Yep, this is an animated princess story -- but it doesn’t take place in fantasyland. The story takes place in a real place -- at a real time. Hence, the music.

But, don’t ask me. I’m still dealing with Uncle Remus.

Anonymous said...

Floyd, thank you for responding.

g said...

On top of what Floyd said, Prince Naveen isnt white, is he? He looks more middle eastern if you ask me.

Besides, for half the film he's a completely different color altogether ;)

Anonymous said...

This is really reaching with this story, and Obama is half black and half white. Its kind of strange that we are trying to get past race issues then someone brings this up about the Prince and you wonder if that person really does want to get past race issues.

Pete Emslie said...

g said: "Besides, for half the film he's a completely different color altogether ;)"

That's right, not only do we have Disney's first black princess, but also Disney's first GREEN prince - thereby being both politically and ecologically correct!

Seriously, though, I do think it's silly for people to be looking for the slightest little thing to be offended by and critical of. My hat is off to the creative crew at Disney for getting back into the traditional animation game. I'm eagerly awaiting "The Princess and the Frog", and wish them much success.

Anonymous said...

Many slave owners in the south kept African princesses as concubines. Disney's just stating a fact.

Anonymous said...

For Robiscus, who (a) posted his comment in the wrong thread, and (b) apparently doesn't know how to do a web search, here's a link to Obama's "mutt" comment:,,20239003,00.html

There are dozens more out there on the interweb. All you have to do is look...

robiscus said...

From the Associated Press just 2 hours ago:

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Barack Obama made history as the first African-American president... He also discussed this with Charlie Rose and said he identifies himself as being a black man::
"If I'm outside your building trying to catch a cab, they're not saying, 'Oh, there's a mixed race guy.'"Here is the video:

...but I don't know maybe you know Barack Obama more than he knows himself...

I feel compelled to respect the mans wishes when he explains that he grew up as a black man in America. That defines who he is. Its a pretty cool thing.

Anonymous said...

Um... I was providing a reference to a quote you claimed you'd never heard. You can try to redirect the conversation all you like, but it's pretty clear that was the intent of my post.

robiscus said...

I said:

"I've never read the quote where he claimed to be "a mutt""...and its true, I hadn't. thanks for posting it, but please don't extrapolate that I doubted its existence. I simply said I had never heard it.
If you want to try to build some kind of indictment against me because I admitted that Ihadn't heard a quote then go ahead. You're already acting like an complete asshat. Dig a deeper hole.

The second part of my sentence was:

" but I doubt he would prefer that over being seen as an African American."...and I am correct. As the links I have show. It helps your comprehension when you read a sentence in its entirety. :)

Anonymous said...

"You're already acting like an complete asshat."

Pot, meet kettle...

Anonymous said...

Cool blog!

Robert said...

They should have made the "prince" some sort of American-style "royalty" like a Louis Armstrong or Cab Calloway type entertainer. Some famous performer who had mysteriously disappeared and was now a frog. That would help explain a singing frog if, in fact, the frog sings in this movie. It would have fit into the jazz theme better.

Actual foreign royalty is a bad fit in an American-set story.

But I'll go see the movie-none-the less.

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