Disney’s first African-American princess, Tiana, who made her debut in 2009’s Princess and The Frog, can now be seen plastered across the package of their princess-themed Valentine’s Day watermelon-flavored candy.
You may remember something like “Dig N’ Dips” from childhood — they’re bland sugar sticks that you lick, then dunk in a flavored sugar powder. Disney’s variation on this old classic is a pack of two flavors: watermelon, which comes in a pink wrapper with Tiana’s character on it, and vanilla, a yellow wrapper that features Aurora from Sleeping Beauty.
Even before its release, Princess and The Frog stirred up controversy for many reasons, one being that Tiana (voiced by actress Anika Noni Rose) was originally a maid named Maddy. Responding to criticism that her role enforced black stereotypes, Disney changed the character’s name, and she became a waitress instead.
Is Disney’s use of Princess Tiana to sell watermelon-flavored candy tinged with racism?
This week’s failure to exercise good common sense in product marketing comes courtesy of a batch of Disney princess-themed Valentine’s day candy that pairs Sleeping Beauty’s Aurora with vanilla flavored sugary dipping dust and Tiana from The Princess and the Frog with the watermelon flavor.
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