Princess Sofia Is Not Latina, Says Disney

Earlier this week Disney introduced its first Latina Princess. Well, it turns out that Princess Sofia is actually from some imaginary fantasy land.

Princess Sofia caused a little bit of controversy last week when several bloggers noted that Disney’s “First Latina” princess didn’t have any Latin traits. Some people praised Disney for not making Princess Sofia a stereotypical character while others criticized the company for placing the label “Latina” on a princess who had nothing to do with Spanish heritage.

Nancy Kanter, senior vice president of original programming and general manager of Disney Junior Worldwide, released a statement today saying that Princess Sofia doesn’t represent any “real world” culture.

Kanter said:

“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.”

Craig Gerber, an executive producer and writer on the feature, added “(Sofia is) a mixed-heritage princess in a fairy-tale world. Her mother is originally from an enchanted kingdom inspired by Spain (Galdiz) and her birth father hailed from an enchanted kingdom inspired by Scandinavia.”

The controversy started last week when Joe D’Ambrosia, the vice president of Disney Junior’s original programming, said that Princess Sofia was Disney’s first Latina princess. During his remarks, D’Ambrosia noted that they never specifically identify Sofia’s race, saying that he hopes all little girls can identify with the new princess.

D’Ambrosia said:

“We never actually call it out. When we go into schools [to talk to young students about the show], what I find fascinating is that every girl thinks that they’re Sofia.”

Here’s a trailer for Sofia the First: Once Upon A Princess.

What do you think about the controversy surrounding Princess Sofia?