The voice behind Princess Tiana is speaking out about the controversy surrounding her beloved character's skin tone in the new Wreck-It Ralph movie

By Ale Russian
September 25, 2018 01:54 PM
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Credit: Disney

The voice behind Princess Tiana is speaking out about the controversy surrounding her beloved character’s skin tone in the new Wreck-It Ralph movie.

Anika Noni Rose, who voiced Tiana in 2008’s The Princess and the Frog, posted a lengthy message on her Instagram late Monday night explaining how she was “as surprised” as fans were to see Disney’s first African-American Disney princess with “lighter skin and much sharper features” in a teaser for the new movie, Ralph Breaks the Internet.

“Aside from my personal feelings, I noted how people felt online (and in my dms) and I was glad to see that people are still very much in love with and supportive of our Princess,” Rose wrote. “My team and I immediately put in a call to the studio to talk about the visual changes, and three weeks ago I had a meeting in person with the Wreck-It Ralph team, my original animator Mark Henn, and others.”

News broke on Monday that Disney had worked to darken the princess’ skin tone and make her features more like the original, including a rounder nose and darker eye color. Rose explained in her statement that the original animator stepped in after they took her through how the transition to CGI animation changed the character’s appearance.

“They explained how CGI animation did different things to the characters’ color tones in different light compares to hand drawn original characters, and I was able to express how important it is to the little girls (and let’s face it, grown women) who felt represented by her that her skin tone stay as rich as it had been, and that her nose continue to be the little round nose that Mark so beautifully rendered in the movie; the same nose on my very own face and on many other little brown faces around the world, that we so rarely get to see represented in fantasy,” Rose wrote.

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Paige O’Hara (Belle), Irene Bedard (Pocahontas), Mandy Moore (Rapunzel), Auli’i Cravalho (Moana), Sarah Silverman (Vanellope von Schweetz), Kristen Bell (Anna/), Kelly Macdonald (Merida), Anika Noni Rose (Tiana), Linda Larkin (Jasmine), and Jodi Benson (Ariel) at Disney’s D23 Expo.
| Credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images; Disney (10)

The actress also thanked Disney for working to correct the issue after it was brought up, including an in-person meeting where she was shown the steps they were taking to restore Princess Tiana. She also posted a picture of her outside the studio and wrote how it “never gets old walking those halls” and being a part of the legacy.

“I also appreciate that this far into the process Disney had enough care and respect for all who love Princess Tiana and her legacy to spend the time and money to make the adjustments necessary,” Rose continued. “In doing so, they recognize that her legacy is also their legacy; two things I’m very proud to be a part of”

Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 hits theaters Nov. 21.