From the jive-talking black crows in Dumbo to the Uncle Remus character in Song of the South to the anti-Semitic portrayal of Aladdin's Iago, patterned after Shakespeare's Shylock and Marlowe's Barrabas (okay, that last one might be a bit of a stretch), Disney has a longstanding tradition of delighting children with offensive racial stereotypes. So it really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that the company used Princess Tiana, the heroine of 2009's Princess and the Frog and the first black Disney princess in history, to sell watermelon-flavored candy.
As Sociological Images reports, the Valentine's Day-themed product is a Dig'n'Dips Candy Stick & Dip (above), featuring Sleeping Beauty on the "dipping stick" side and Tiana on the "dipping candy" side. The white Sleeping Beauty character decorates the vanilla-flavored candy, while Tiana decorates the side that contains the watermelon-flavored candy. Um, cool, guys. I guess we should be thankful it's not grape drink?
Truth be told, this seems more like a prolonged brain-fart on the candy company's behalf than actual racism, but considering how long it took Disney to create a black character that didn't sing about how fun it is to be a slave, they'd be well-advised to think more about being racially sensitive and less about trying to enslave the minds of princess-loving, candy-craving youngsters. But then again, asking Disney to stop thinking about money is kind of like asking the sun to stop shining, so at least we can still fault them for trying to market something as repulsive as watermelon-vanilla Dig'n'Dips.