Ethnic Diversity in Fandoms

One experiment in diversity that’s gained a lot of attention on the internet is the idea of “race-bending” disney princesses. It started from an artist on tumblr known as Let There Be Doodles who reimagined the different Disney princesses if they came from different ethnicities. This was partly in response to the introduction of Princess Tiana, the first African-American Disney princess, to the franchise. This shows the discrepancy that the media franchise has with its fan base. One common criticism of the American media is that it has a tendency to “white-wash” movies and television, showing a far smaller representation of minorities than would be accurate within the time period and place of the movie. (I addressed this in a previous blog entry regarding Cinderella.) Fandoms are born from enjoying a certain genre, book, tv show, or another form of media, but they also are known to give opinions and make decisions about how they wish they could change aspects of the thing that they enjoy. This is one such example. It shows a new power in the social media: Any person with access to a computer may now respond critically to a form of media largely controlled by a homogenous elite, and converse with other people who share the same, similar, or different opinions. In this case, it shows a fandom wanting to impose more ethnic diversity in a well-known, largely white movie franchise.


One thought on “Ethnic Diversity in Fandoms”


    Saw that Rooney Mara is to play Tiger Lily in the next live-action Peter Pan adaption. Peter Pan is extremely problematic in itself, and Tiger Lily caricature’s maybe should have been left out of the new movie, and then they cast a white woman as a Native American on top of that. Yikes. As the article says, there’s something to be said about loyalty to source material, but perhaps we shouldn’t be loyal to racism…
    “To recap what we know about Pan so far: It’s a Peter Pan origin story. It’s directed by Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice, Hanna, Atonement) and so far stars Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard and a Garrett Hedlund as a young’n’sexy pre-Captain Captain Hook. Deadline described it as a film in which Peter is the “savior of the natives” of Neverland, which I was a little skeptical of, because what movie, in the 21st century, would be so blatantly, toxically racist, on top of clueless enough to think that “Peter Pan, savior of the natives” is an OK thing to present to an audience of millions, many of them children?”



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