Disney Defends Its New Princess

LOS ANGELES (October 23, 2012)--The Walt Disney Co. is defending a new character named Sofia following a backlash over her Hispanic-influenced ethnicity.

Sofia will star in the TV movie "Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess," which airs on Nov. 18 on the Disney Channel and Disney Junior.

Hispanic advocacy groups questioned whether the fair-skinned, blue-eyed young princess is an accurate representation of the Hispanic population and wondered why Disney isn't doing more to promote its first princess with Hispanic-inspired roots.

"Sofia the First" co-executive producer Craig Gerber said in a Facebook post that Sofia is "a mixed-heritage princess in a fairytale world."

Gerber said Sofia's mother and birth father hail from kingdoms inspired by Spain and Scandinavia, and Sofia was born and raised in a make-believe kingdom patterned after the British Isles.

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