Is Disney saying a black man can’t be a prince?

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I’m sure most of you know that Disney is planning to finally introduce its first black princess with the release of “The Princess and the Frog.” But even though the animated musical doesn’t come out until later this year, it’s already the center of controversy.

Apparently, even though Princess Tiana and many other characters are black, the prince is not and the Internet is buzzing with complaints.

According to a story from The Daily Mail, one person wrote:

‘I think it’s sad that he is white because its saying that black love isn’t good enough and that black men could never be princes.

‘Disney had the perfect chance to make its first black prince, but instead it decided to go the controversial route.’

Actually the prince does look a little ethnic to me and his name Prince Naveen of Maldonia, so I wonder if Disney will release a statement saying he isn’t white at all.

Nonetheless, I want to know what you think? Is a supposedly white prince a slap in the face to black men or should Disney be applauded for depicting interracial love? Honestly, I’m on the fence, so I really want to hear from you.

4 Comments

  1. I might not be the authority to speak on this, since I thought Penelope Cruz was a white women until like 4 weeks ago.

    Anyway, I think people are nit-picking. That guy looks pretty ethnic to me, and come on, his name is Naveen! Yeah, he’s not Prince Jerome from Compton with a jheri curl but I’m pretty sure he’s not white.

    Give Disney credit – they’re changing with the times and they should be applauded. Minorities are usually just wisecracking animals.

  2. I was about to put this in the “Are you serious?” file, but then I remembered a similar controversy over another Disney production: Disney’s Broadway show “Aida.” The musical is set completely in Africa and depicts a war between an Egyptian kingdom and a Nubian (though I think my Playbill said Ethiopian) Kingdom. Aida and an Egyptian soldier engaged to the Egyptian princess fall in love when the Egyptians take Aida prisoner. In the Broadway tour show I saw in St. Louis, Aida and all the Nubians were black, but the Egyptians were white. Not ethnic like Naveen MIGHT be, but white. People who saw the show in NYC and those who saw the touring show in their respective cities said they saw the same thing.

    Aida debuted on Broadway in 2000, so this cartoon is not exactly Disney’s first-ever black princess. It’s also not their first opportunity to cast a black prince or black lead beside her. Given that, I think they should have taken the opportunity to show that a black man can be a prince.

    On the other hand, I can also see it as a marketing dilemma. Disney might have felt that if they had a black prince, it would be a black movie, and they would have to limit their marketing to black people, thereby decreasing total sales. With an interracial couple, they can essentially show several different previews – some that focus on the prince, some that focus on the princess, some that show them both. I now can’t wait to see how the previews differ depending on what movie or TV program I’m watching when they air.

  3. i honestly dont really care because i think the whole prince/princess and happy ever after thing should be taken away anyways. they need some realistic characters for a change.

    but that man is not white. what they should have done was had the animators make them neutral race LOL. that way you couldnt tell if they were white with bad tans, hispanic, black or whatever.

  4. I’m just glad people of color are represented in this movie. (Aladdin was a good start, lol.) I believe this princess is from Louisiana (right?) If so, I think that they’re trying to embrace the “creolite” culture that has strong ties to New Orleans, LA. I’d like to hear/read more about it, but I’m not upset that the prince isn’t “black”…ya’ll know he could be “light-skinned-ded.”

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