Disney has come under attack for its plans to make a movie about an American dad who claimed African land to make his daughter a princess.
The studio has bought the film rights to The Princess of North Sudan, based on the true story of Jeremiah Heaton from Virginia, who travelled to Sudan and Egypt to put up a flag in an area of “no man's land” and call it his last year.
Unsurprisingly, Twitter has not taken too kindly to this upcoming movie about “literal white entitlement”, with many outraged that Disney's first 'African' princess will be a white girl.
Princess of North Sudan is about a White American claiming land without any right so his daughter could be a princess. America I tell you...— Philotes Φιλότης (@BienSur_JeTaime) May 14, 2015
i'm so mad at disney studios right now for the princess of north sudan garbage!!!— caitlin (@jailcait) May 14, 2015
"Princess of North Sudan" is a mess. It is a Disney project about literal white entitlement.— Zoé S. (@ztsamudzi) May 14, 2015
Seriously I can't look at that "Princess of North Sudan" bullshit without thinking of Heart of Darkness.— Votes For Squirrels (@RainierOunce) May 14, 2015
This is NOT a cute story. This is a story of a man who is romanticizing colonialism despite its dark history. #PrincessOfNorthSudan— [ŋɑʲɱɐ] (@NaimaVibes) May 14, 2015
Morgan Spurlock, known for documentaries Super Size Me and The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, has signed on as co-producer, with Stephany Folsom writing the script.
Folsom has hit back at the flood of criticism on social media, insisting that she will be telling a different tale and further confusing everybody.
Agree w/everything people are saying. Wouldn't write that story. But if you want to focus your hate on me, go for it. #PrincessOfNorthSudan— Stephany Folsom (@StephanyFolsom) May 14, 2015
There is no planting a flag in Sudan or making a white girl the princess of an African country. That's gross. #PrincessOfNorthSudan— Stephany Folsom (@StephanyFolsom) May 14, 2015
I've been to the Sudan. The people there are amazing. Colonialism is bullshit. Hope you all have a beautiful night. #PrincessOfNorthSudan— Stephany Folsom (@StephanyFolsom) May 14, 2015
The already controversial movie will focus on the relationship between Jeremiah and his seven-year-old daughter Emily “set against a backdrop of a fantastical adventure”, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Heaton hopes to address the global issues of climate change and hunger by building a sustainable farming system in his 800 square miles of desert land. He has set up a fundraising page where you can learn more about his journey here.
I guess we'll just have to wait to find out more about the direction Disney is going with this. In the meantime, tens of thousands of fans have been protesting against whitewashing in the upcoming Mulan live action remake, demanding an Asian lead.
Recently, an alarming report found that just 4 per cent of all female characters in Hollywood films last year were Asian or Latina, with only 11 per cent identifying as African-American.
Walt Disney Studios is yet to respond to our request for comment about The Princess of North Sudan.