The Colorism Issue in Wreck-It Ralph 2


This is probably the 1000th post about this topic that has appeared on the internet. I have big issues with what Pixar, a branch of Disney has done with Tiana, our favorite and only Black Princess. Colorism and whitewashing is always a controversial topic because so many people feel offended on both sides. Colorism in itself is a conversation a lot of people are not ready to have because they don’t want to face the reality and the history that makes up our media and society today.

Let’s talk about it.
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Tiana is a dark-skinned Disney Princess that has prominent black features like I and many other black women and girls share. Her dark skin, wide nose and full lips made her appeal to black girls and women all over the world. I personally didn’t think Disney would ever make a Black Princess, let alone a dark skin one but it happened and even though I didn’t like the movie The Princess and The Frog was a success. Tiana was brought to us a hard working woman fighting to make her dreams come true. I didn’t see anyone having an issue back then about the way she looked but they have an issue now when people want her to have the same look in every movie she’s going to be featured in.
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Another issue with the new Wreck-It Ralph movie is that they changed Tiana completely. You can’t have a character look one way and then make her completely different with different features in another movie. I honestly didn’t even know that this was Tiana until the internet pointed it out. My first thoughts were who is this Princess and where is Tiana, I was confused that they would take Tiana out of a Disney Princess scene, Tiana looks nothing like herself! Pixar caught wind and addressed the matter but the corrections they made should not have been necessary. The Tiana we got the first time around, should have been what we got this time.

Disney probably wasn’t expecting the backlash from changing her appearance or maybe the change was intentional. One of the reasons they said Tiana came out lighter is because the CGI process lightens darker characters yet here we are with the correct version of her in all her glory. I think Pixar wanted to branch out and make Tiana look like the media portrayal of a black woman which in many cases happens to be lighter women.
I know what people are going to say, it’s just a cartoon why is there such an uproar about whether Tiana is light-skinned or dark-skinned. It matters because this is what little black girls will see and start to think they have to have lighter skinned in order to be beautiful or featured in media. We’re trying to break the cycle not continue it.
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The issue became bigger for me when I started seeing comments from other Black women saying there’s nothing wrong with the new way Tiana looks. There was a disconnect there for me that made me really question if people really process their thoughts or are they just ignoring the issues of colorism and erasure.
It’s mind boggling how people are perfectly fine with this issue but then again people don’t care for issues that don’t personally affect them. I swear I try not to think too much about what people say but I can’t help it at all and sometimes I just end up with a headache at all the stupidity on the internet.

Light-skinned and mixed Black Women didn’t find an issue Tiana’s look because she’s literally just another replica of them in the media. It’s sad that there are so many people bringing up this topic up yet people still don’t get it.

Anika Noni Rose, the voice of Tiana had an issue with them changing Tiana’s look and contacted Disney for a meeting. She even took it to Instagram to let the world know how she felt. The story behind Tiana’s look was for her to look like Anika Noni Rose…THE VOICE OF TIANA…A DARK-SKINNED BLACK WOMAN! I love that she spoke out about this and said her piece and I hope this was a lesson learned and others will see this issue and make sure not to repeat it.

I have so many questions and most of them will not be answered. I’m happy that they did change Tiana back to herself and since this will only be a short part of the movie Tiana was portrayed correctly and that’s all that matters.

I’m not sure if I’ll see this movie because this really did get me in my feelings and usually if I feel some type of way about something like this I normally don’t support it. The movie comes out next month, I guess we’ll all have to wait and see. I also want to see if other people will make the choice not to go see this movie because of what happened with Tiana or will they go see it since they corrected the issue.

Do you think Disney cares about colorism and erasure of their POC characters?

We have all the nonsense going on with the live action adaptions of the animated movies but I want to know what you think.

Join The Conversation.

10 thoughts on “The Colorism Issue in Wreck-It Ralph 2

  1. Omg that is crazy. I haven’t seen the movie yet. But so crazy. I think it’s bull that CGI makes characters lighter. Pish posh. All lies. They knew what they were doing. Trying to make her look like a mixed black girl. Ughh media

    1. EXACTLY! Disney think nobody would notice that tiana’s looks did a 180. Lol we know they lying because they were able to correct her but I feel like Disney didn’t learn anything from this and the next couple of movies are going to be a hot mess.
      I’m still on the fence on going to see the movie next month because I do want to see Ralph and the little cutie pie go on another adventure.

  2. The CGI excuse is bullshit, more than likely somebody decided to be lazy and did a “copy and paste job” like hell half the characters look like they went off and did the same for each one. The only ones that really look different are Mulan, Moana, Elsa, and chick from tangled. Just about everyone else looks way to similar and like they’ve been stripped of their color so it’s a mix between laziness or cheapness across the board and colorism. As far as them changing the look of the character you have to expect it. In this era we have The last airbender, ScarJo as Major Kusanagi, the entire cast of the Teen Titan’s live action and even comics heavily altering the aesthetics of characters who already have an established look when it’s not needed.

    1. I noticed the other princesses as well, they definitely were lazy when it came to doing this scene. Pocahontas has no color what so ever and it’s sad they’re doing this in a kids movie no less. The call their doing for diversity right now is getting out of hand. ScarJo was just distrustful for accepting that role and going through with the whole project. Changing the look of some staple characters is going to continue because these companies want that diversity paycheck at the end of the day. I do see they are trying to cater to everyone but it’s not working in their favor with these drastic changes.

      1. They really were, it makes me think they half-assed some other things in the movie. I wouldn’t say ScarJo os distrustful for taking the role, with the Standalone Complex version of Major Kusanagi an asian woman or a white wan can play her the only problem is that they both really have to look a certain way to play her. Now if it were the ARISE versio. Then yeah, pretty much only a Japanese or a Korean chick could really fit the bill look wise. ScarJo just isn’t good enough of an actress to play the character tbh. she was only casted because of name value. True they’re basically doing it for a paycheck, what’s crazy is that most series and companies have diverse characters but outside of diehard fans not many people pay attention to them so you have places redesigning staple characters making them gay, bi, a different gender, race, etc instead of making new characters or series and writing them well. The result is forced diversity and in quite a few cases “oh look my character isn’t male/white/straight/american”. They can try to cater to everyone but they need to just let the shit come naturally but they’d rather force it and cry when people criticize it despite most critics having valid complaints.

        1. All of the new shows and movies forcing diversity is soooooo annoying, as a fan I don’t get excited for new content anymore because I can already see they changed something that didn’t need it when all they had to do was add on. I wished they went down a natural route when it comes to LGBT characters too because they just throw a gay character in your face like you don’t see them. I do hope a new trend starts soon where they are including the poc characters that exist already or create new ones, forced diversity is going to hurt their pockets eventually and then they’ll switch gears.
          Did you see ScarJo’s ghost in the shell movie? I didn’t because I don’t like any movie I’ve seen of hers, she’s really just name value in most if not all of her movies.

          1. I feel you, it’s ally annoying. When it comes to LGBT characters they really do just randomly throw them in like Korra & Asami in The Legend of Korra. I remember that recently a trangender transformer was made. It’s kind of ironic considering that a lot of bad writing that LGBT characters suffer from is done by LGBT writers, it’s like they let their “diversity” become the only important part. I doubt they’ll switch gears, creating new characters is risky so companies tend to avoid it. Creating new characters isn’t the only problem, there’s also the fact that most aren’t written well now.
            GITS wasn’t bad for what it was but it just didn’t feel like it deserved that Ghost in The Shell title. It felt like a “Hollywoodification” of the OG movie. She honestly isn’t a good actress and shows just how Hollywood doesn’t want to try anything new.

          2. I honestly never heard of a transgender transformer I have to look that up because I’m curious and they are trying too hard at this point with that one. I think if they take the risk of creating new well written characters that it might be a good direction that will slow down on the complaints people have when they want to “revamp” characters we love as is. I had a feeling ghost in the shell would be like that maybe when it comes to Netflix I’ll watch it because I do want to see how it came out.

          3. Sadly it’s a real thing, it sounds like a joke but I shit you not, it’s real. It’ll slow down the complaints and it’ll keep these characters from living in the shadows of the original iterations. Ghost in the shell is worth a watch if you can get it cheap or when it drops on Netflix. It’s one of tge better adaptations but it tries more to appeal to the mainstream.

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