Disney: Princess Sofia isn't Latina

Oct. 22, 2012 at 9:17 PM

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- America's Disney Channel says the adorable heroine in its new TV movie "Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess" is not Latina as a producer previously stated.

The "Cinderella" spinoff is to debut on Disney Junior Nov. 18.

"What's important to know is that Sofia is a fairy-tale girl who lives in a fairy-tale world," NBC Latino quoted Nancy Kanter, senior vice president of original programming and general manager of Disney Junior Worldwide, as saying Monday. "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, a co-executive producer and writer on the film, described Sofia's ethnicity as "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," Gerber said.

The remarks contradict an earlier statement by "Sofia the First" executive producer Jamie Mitchell, who told Entertainment Weekly, "She is Latina."

E! reported Alex Nogales, president and chief executive officer of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, complained last week the channel wasn't promoting the fact Sofia is the first Hispanic Disney princess.

"We consume a hell of a lot of television, and I don't understand the reluctance of the producers to not be upfront and say, 'This person is Latina,'" Nogales told E!

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