Disney changes Princess Tiana in ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ after whitewashing backlash
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Disney changes Princess Tiana in ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ after whitewashing backlash

Disney animators have reportedly redone the artwork for Princess Tiana in Ralph Breaks the Internet after receiving backlash for whitewashing the character.

The animation, a sequel to 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph, came under fire from critics in August (18) after a trailer was released, revealing that a number of Disney princesses would feature, including the first African-American princess, Tiana, from 2009’s The Princess and the Frog.

Many noticed that Princess Tiana looked distinctively different from her first outing, with a smaller and thinner nose and lighter skin, while her previous tight, kinky hair had been smoothed out into looser European curls – leading many critics to call out Disney for whitewashing the character.

The backlash reportedly prompted Disney executives to reanimate scenes involved Princess Tiana to restore her to her original appearance. According to the Wall Street Journal, this process, an unusual move for Disney, particularly as the film is set for release on 21 November (18), began shortly after the marketing materials were released.

Disney animators reportedly spoke with Anika Noni Rose, who voices the princess, and invited Brandi Collins-Dexter, a senior campaign director with Color of Change, an advocacy organisation that focuses on issues of racial representation and political inequality, to their offices in Burbank, California last week (ends23Sep18) to review the changes with the animators.

The organisation celebrated the move by releasing a statement last week, which read: “Disney’s decision to restore Princess Tiana’s image to that of an unapologetically black princess with full lips, dark skin and dark hair in Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 is a victory for Color Of Change members, black children and their parents, and black audiences who want to see the variety of shades, shapes and sizes of black characters accurately represented in the arts.”

They shared the news on Twitter and wrote, “Huge win for Black girls who look up to Princess Tiana! After conversations with @Disney & @DisneyAnimation about the character’s appearance in #WreckItRalph2, they addressed our concerns and restored Tiana to her original depiction. #RepresentationMatters.”

Ralph Breaks the Internet also boasts a voice cast including John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman and Taraji P. Henson.

– Cover Media

 

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