Isn't Princess and the Frog offensive?

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Captn EO

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Lets keep this discussion civil.

Song of the South is considered insensitive due to it being a positive toned film in a time when African Americans were not treated well.

As time went on, the film received more criticism for this aspect than anything and is deemed racist.

With the ride of it's namesake now being removed, I honestly believe its replacement film will one day face the same criticisms as its predecessor.

Princess and the Frog takes place in the 1920s in America. Yet Tiana never faces any racism or issues that would be historically accurate for the time.

Tiana sings and dances at numerous points throughout this picture.

Her mother happily makes dresses to serve a rich white man and his spoiled daughter.

The film glorified New Orleans without showing any of the day to day discrimination African Americans faced.

Naveen is an African American male who grew up having servants fill his every need and is considered lazy and has to seek out a rich girl to marry.

The character's interactions with Caucasians are positive and not at all representative of what things were really like at the time, white washing the truth about the 1920s.

Can anyone else see this being an issue down the line? Princess and the Frog is typical Disney fare and glorifies a time period and does nothing to address reality.

I don't see how these issues won't come up in the future. IMO the only way to avoid controversy is to make an "honest/darker" film (which is not Disney's style), or to avoid early American stories all together.
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
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...I know...

This is so tone deaf to me. “Cynical” is the word that immediately came to mind.

This comes off as “ok...here’s your “thing”...we did our part” on Disney’s part.

I know that’s not a popular opinion...but I always try to be truthful on my opinion.
 
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TROR

Well-Known Member
You're right. Let's also talk about the European-centric idea of Fantasyland, the overly romanticized idea of Main Street USA, the colonial tones of Adventureland and Frontierland, and the white-washed New Orleans Square. The idea of Disneyland is antiquated and racist. It's time for it to close.
 

Captn EO

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
My tone is in the regard of the general public. While I am able to understand a Disney fantasy film (SotS, PatF) is not a historical document. To many, this seems to be the biggest issue.

As TROR mentioned above, I can see Main Street being removed as to some it may "glorify" and "idealize" the early 1900s.
 

TROR

Well-Known Member
PatF isn't perfect, but it's miles and ahead better than SotS which quite literally attempted to make slavery palatable. To suggest that PatF is as offensive as SotS is an egregious false equivalency.
That's what this entire country is run on in 2020. The idea that Splash Mountain is as offensive as Song of the South is a false equivalency. The idea that Song of the South is as offensive as Gone with the Wind is a false equivalency. The idea that Gone with the Wind is as offensive as slavery itself is a false equivalency. The idea that slavery itself is as offensive as the Holocaust is a false equivalency. But no, we have people acting as if Br'er Rabbit is an SS uniform because Splash Mountain is the embodiment of racism when it's not. That's the simple truth on the matter. One small flaw is seen as justification for the destruction of everything. It's the reason we're seeing statues funded by literal freed slaves to honor Abraham Lincoln are being torn down because people today who've never know slavery are offended by them.
 

BasiltheBatLord

Well-Known Member
As TROR mentioned above, I can see Main Street being removed as to some it may "glorify" and "idealize" the early 1900s.
What's especially sad that many people don't get is that this is literally the point of Main Street. It exists to represent the idealized, nostalgic vision of turn of the century America which elderly people at Disneyland's opening had.
 

Quinnmac000

Well-Known Member
Lets keep this discussion civil.

Song of the South is considered insensitive due to it being a positive toned film in a time when African Americans were not treated well.

As time went on, the film received more criticism for this aspect than anything and is deemed racist.

With the ride of it's namesake now being removed, I honestly believe its replacement film will one day face the same criticisms as its predecessor.

Princess and the Frog takes place in the 1920s in America. Yet Tiana never faces any racism or issues that would be historically accurate for the time.

Tiana sings and dances at numerous points throughout this picture.

Her mother happily makes dresses to serve a rich white man and his spoiled daughter.

The film glorified New Orleans without showing any of the day to day discrimination African Americans faced.

Naveen is an African American male who grew up having servants fill his every need and is considered lazy and has to seek out a rich girl to marry.

The character's interactions with Caucasians are positive and not at all representative of what things were really like at the time, white washing the truth about the 1920s.

Can anyone else see this being an issue down the line? Princess and the Frog is typical Disney fare and glorifies a time period and does nothing to address reality.

I don't see how these issues won't come up in the future. IMO the only way to avoid controversy is to make an "honest/darker" film (which is not Disney's style), or to avoid early American stories all together.

I tuned you out once you said Naveen is African American becaues Naveen never was African American. He wasn't even American nor is he black.

Maldonia is a fictional country mentioned in The Princess and the Frog. It is where Lawrence, Prince Naveen, his mother, father and brother were born. The name is a portmanteau of real life Maldives and Macedonia. It should also be noted that the chief language of Maldonia, called Maldaquesh, is derived from the Italian language.
 

solidyne

Well-Known Member
...I know...

This is so tons deaf to me. “Cynical” is the word that immediately came to mind.

This comes off as “ok...here’s your “thing”...we did our part” on Disney’s part.

I know that’s not a popular opinion...but I always try to be truthful on my opinion.
My tone is in the regard of the general public. While I am able to understand a Disney fantasy film (SotS, PatF) is not a historical document. To many, this seems to be the biggest issue.

As TROR mentioned above, I can see Main Street being removed as to some it may "glorify" and "idealize" the early 1900s.
I'm not sure, but I think @Sirwalterraleigh is calling Disney's decision tone deaf, not your post. I could be wrong. He's usually more articulate. ;)
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
I tuned you out once you said Naveen is African American becaues Naveen never was African American. He wasn't even American nor is he black.

Maldonia is a fictional country mentioned in The Princess and the Frog. It is where Lawrence, Prince Naveen, his mother, father and brother were born. The name is a portmanteau of real life Maldives and Macedonia. It should also be noted that the chief language of Maldonia, called Maldaquesh, is derived from the Italian language.

I remember that being a concern at the time this movie came out.

Critics said that Disney wimped out by making Naveen vaguely not Black. He was maybe Portuguese, or maybe Brazilian, or a mix of Mediterranean and Brazilian? But he definitely wasn't a Black man, American or otherwise. Naveen was offensive because he wasn't Black, as if Tiana could only elevate herself by finding a man who wasn't Black.
 

Quinnmac000

Well-Known Member
I remember that being a concern at the time this movie came out.

Critics said that Disney wimped out by making Naveen vaguely not Black. He was maybe Portuguese, or maybe Brazilian, or a mix of Mediterranean and Brazilian? But he definitely wasn't a Black man, American or otherwise. Naveen was offensive because he wasn't Black, as if Tiana could only elevate herself by finding a man who wasn't Black.

If I remember correctly, that wasn’t the main argument in the black community but from what I remember, it was the fact that they wanted black on black love to show strong black relationship.

While I agree that it’s important to showcase positive black-black relationship, that take is still racist as it suggests blacks should only be with black people which in of itself racist.
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
Princess and the frog is not the model “progress”...for many reasons already stated here.

This is about one character. And a brilliant, academy award caliber performance given by a man who would think think nothing of it today.

And that movie was groundbreaking as well. Without that...there’s no Mary poppins. So look out if “nanny lives matter” becomes a thing.

My point is this: you don’t have to embrace all of your history...but you should own it. A better move to me would be to put a statue in front - right smack dab in critter country (guess that’s out too now) or Frontierland and explain the history of slavery in the United States and state your corporate goal to “infotain”. Do something not tone deaf, knee jerk, and quick buck.

Princess and the frog leaves a lot to be desired as far as “progress” too....so for a company that is so protective of its “image”...it’s amazing how often they miss the mark. Of all the complaints over the years...how far down the list does “the parks are racist” fall. You what is more an afront to more demographics? The pricing. Think about it. And that’s across a lot of boards.

Ok...stripping my favorite ride. And they torpedoed Star Wars...great. If you’ll excuse me I have to go pay my DVC dues 🙄
I’ll move on.
 
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Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
If I remember correctly, that wasn’t the main argument in the black community but from what I remember, it was the fact that they wanted black on black love to show strong black relationship.

While I agree that it’s important to showcase positive black-black relationship, that take is still racist as it suggests blacks should only be with black people which in of itself racist.
This is a fantastic commentary.

We’re lucky to have this thread and people to talk “serious” about this scenario. Wisdom is to be heralded, not scoffed at.

I hope people don’t derail/screw this up with the typical quips of stupidity? Sound bites from the ignorant not needed.
 

WDW83

Active Member
Lets keep this discussion civil.

Song of the South is considered insensitive due to it being a positive toned film in a time when African Americans were not treated well.

As time went on, the film received more criticism for this aspect than anything and is deemed racist.

With the ride of it's namesake now being removed, I honestly believe its replacement film will one day face the same criticisms as its predecessor.

Princess and the Frog takes place in the 1920s in America. Yet Tiana never faces any racism or issues that would be historically accurate for the time.

Tiana sings and dances at numerous points throughout this picture.

Her mother happily makes dresses to serve a rich white man and his spoiled daughter.

The film glorified New Orleans without showing any of the day to day discrimination African Americans faced.

Naveen is an African American male who grew up having servants fill his every need and is considered lazy and has to seek out a rich girl to marry.

The character's interactions with Caucasians are positive and not at all representative of what things were really like at the time, white washing the truth about the 1920s.

Can anyone else see this being an issue down the line? Princess and the Frog is typical Disney fare and glorifies a time period and does nothing to address reality.

I don't see how these issues won't come up in the future. IMO the only way to avoid controversy is to make an "honest/darker" film (which is not Disney's style), or to avoid early American stories all together.
Yeah sure and Snow White is misogynist so why didn't they get ridd out of her ride !🙄

There has never been a century or years without discriminatory acts, horrors like war. An animated movie does not mean that certain aspects of these periods are denied. The politically correct has its limits, in this case we would talk about the horrors of the crusades and conquests in Sleeping Beauty, the Italian-Austrian tentions in Pinnochio with the Nationalists, the Great Terror in Beauty and the Beast, etc. if you want something that makes you cry about slavery or black segregation, there are plenty of documentaries about it, the PatF has a clever approach storywise.

Then if you expected to see Tiana get beaten and you disappointed, I'm sorry but it’s still a cartoon, Disney never had the pretension to denounce anything !

You are hyperirrational in your way of acting. This is one of the many reasons why I would never want to live in the United States. In a single country you have the license to carry weapons with hundreds of deaths per day, no real health insurance, bad food, a culture that reflects European traditions and recently the destruction of the statues of the greatest missionaries and explorers (I don’t even mention the fact that some people apologize, others kneel or even wash the feet of blacks because they are white).
And then my American friends tell me they live in the best country in the world, what a joke.😅😭
 
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Quinnmac000

Well-Known Member
Princess and the frog is not the model “progress”...for many reasons already stated here.

This is about one character. And a brilliant, academy award caliber performance given by a man who would think think nothing of it today.

And that movie was groundbreaking as well. Without that...there’s no Mary poppins. So look out if “nanny lives matter” becomes a thing.

My point is this: you don’t have to embrace all of your history...but you should own it. A better move to me would be to put a statue in front - right smack dab in critter country (guess that’s out too now) or Frontierland and explain the history of slavery in the United States and state your corporate goal to “infotain”. Do someone not tone deaf, knee jerk, and quick buck.

Princess and the frog leaves a lot to be desired as far as “progress” too....so for a company that is so protective of its “image”...it’s amazing how often they miss the mark. Of all the complaints over the years...how far down the list does “the parks are racist” fall. You what is more an afront to more demographics? The pricing. Think about it. And that’s across a lot of boards.

Ok...stripping my favorite ride. And they torpedoed Star Wars...great. If you’ll excuse me I have to go pay my DVC dues 🙄
I’ll move on.

In Disney's defense, James Baskett after Uncle Remus was quite controversial in which he upset the NAACP who was pushing for progress while he was staring in shows that didn't show African American in the best of light. (Look up Andy and Amos Show).

Additionally, his Oscar is controversial because it was begged by Disney for an award compared to Hattie MacDaniel who actually competed and won against her peers.

Hattie MacDaniel was actually cancelled by the black community with her success extremely limited because she lost all support fom the black community which also limited her appeal and ability to sell tickets.

The first African American man to actually win an Academy award for Best Actor (Sidney Poitier) in 1963 yelled at the academy during his speech for not giving roles to Black people real roles outside criminals and the help and his winning was due to just being a token.

As for Princess and the Frog, as a person of color, I believe this film was probably one of the best representation of what Black woman have to go through....Tiana had to work hard on her own, dealing with black men not family putting them down (the restaurant owner in the beginning), the disappointment of a dream deferred (her not getting the restaurant at first because too late) and how their personalities can come across too aggressive at times. She succeeds despite her challenges and finds someone.

Another positive rep within the film in my opinion is Tiana didn't have an absent father which is very prevalent in low income Black families.

I get the oh she needed a man to help her. But to be honest, Her man Naveen was broke because his playboy lifestyle and mommy/daddy cutting him off so he had nothing to do or provide her.

The biggest argument on why Princess and the Frog was racist was due to the fact, they made the first black princess a frog majority of the movie and I remember some Caucasian people at the time were arguing the film shouldn't be called princess and the frog since she wasn't a princess to begin with. (These same people did get called out recently on facebook for their previous hot take which they stated they did't realize how rude that was at the time).

I do understand the arguments against the film being a sign of progress. Such as the voodoo piece which is also a very complex argument. Voodoo or Vondou originated in west africa as a mix of Christian culture and shamanism essentially. A lot of people were Christian by day, practicioners of voodoo by night. It was like some the African folklore that people are arguing about keeping with Splash Mountain. It was brought by slaves as something from home so the gods to here. Unfortunately, Hollywood and mainstream cultured perverted it from its original form for entertainment purposes as well as the religious entities who tie it to satanism out of ignorance. This lead to a lot saying Dr Facilier being a voodoo witch doctor as problematic mainly by the Christian/Conservative area when truthfully there still is a large population of Haitian Voodoo practitioners in New Orleans.
 
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Mouse Trap

Well-Known Member
Lets keep this discussion civil.

Song of the South is considered insensitive due to it being a positive toned film in a time when African Americans were not treated well.

As time went on, the film received more criticism for this aspect than anything and is deemed racist.

With the ride of it's namesake now being removed, I honestly believe its replacement film will one day face the same criticisms as its predecessor.

Princess and the Frog takes place in the 1920s in America. Yet Tiana never faces any racism or issues that would be historically accurate for the time.

Tiana sings and dances at numerous points throughout this picture.

Her mother happily makes dresses to serve a rich white man and his spoiled daughter.

The film glorified New Orleans without showing any of the day to day discrimination African Americans faced.

Naveen is an African American male who grew up having servants fill his every need and is considered lazy and has to seek out a rich girl to marry.

The character's interactions with Caucasians are positive and not at all representative of what things were really like at the time, white washing the truth about the 1920s.

Can anyone else see this being an issue down the line? Princess and the Frog is typical Disney fare and glorifies a time period and does nothing to address reality.

I don't see how these issues won't come up in the future. IMO the only way to avoid controversy is to make an "honest/darker" film (which is not Disney's style), or to avoid early American stories all together.

I'd love to hear the opinions of the Black community on this forum. Most of the replies so far seem to be from people who aren’t Black based on previous comments they've made and are trying to pretend to know what the Black community would be offended by.
 
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