This week’s failure at good common sense in product marketing comes courtesy of a batch of Disney princess-themed Valentine’s day candy that pairs Sleeping Beauty‘s Aurora with vanilla flavored sugary dipping dust and Tiana from The Princess and the Frog with the watermelon flavor.

Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. As usual, it’s hard to believe that anyone would intentionally make this kind of insensitive mistake, but pairing the white girl with vanilla and the black girl with watermelon should have set off an alarm in someone’s mind. Perhaps the stereotype linking black folks with watermelon is too antiquated for most people to recall, but this is the kind of eye-roll-worthy mistake that happens when companies don’t go that extra step to make sure they’re not forgetting something.

Read more at Sociological Images.

What do you think?

  • girlformerlyknownasgrace

    I am kinda tired of being too PC. There are bigger racial battles than this.

  • Joan

    LMAO. LOL.

  • mluv

    this is a joke right? can plp please stop calling everthing racist..

  • Blasé

    *shrugs*

  • Sassy

    I really wish people would stop making simple things a racial issue

  • Tonton Michel

    And this ladies and gentlemen is why you need diversity at the corporate level. So someone can say “pause!”.

  • Usagi

    At least, it’s not grape. Ummmmm, it’s guess it’s kinda racist. Why aren’t you offended at Sleeping Beaty for being vanilla ? Isn’tt that racist,too ? I don’t understand why you needed to write an article about this……………….

  • Nicole

    +1

  • tom

    The media/public criticize every little thing wrong with Disney and Princesses, and yet nobody utters a peep about the sexist nature of Pixar animation. Not one peep.

  • Nicole

    I don’t find this racist at all

  • PlainTalk

    Thembi, Whats your point? Damn girl!!!!! Steupppppppppppppppsssssssss
    There are more important issues that we can discussed concerning the African American community instead of forcing an issue that is not even there. I am all for discussing racism but I think you are going overboard with this nonsensical article.

  • LemonNLime

    Really? Must be a slow news day. If people are freaking out about this, then those are people I never want to be around because they are CONSTANTLY complaining about EVERYTHING.

    If you want to get mad about some be made at the fact that that candy is pumped full of artificial products and chemicals.

  • Isis

    Lmaooo lawd yall see racism in everything. Jeez

  • iQgraphics

    What I’m bothered about is as a two pack
    vanilla and watermelon don’t go together.

  • TheBestAnonEver, Part 2

    Why are people so stupid? So because there are bigger issues no one should discuss the ‘little’ ones? Can your brains not process more than one thing at once? This from a group that spent time going back and forth on whom another person wants to screw. To every idiotic commenter before me: GTFOOHWTBS!

  • Ashley

    As someone who grew up with absolutely NO black Disney princesses, I can’t bring myself to jump on a high horse about this. Maybe it was an honest mistake, maybe it wasn’t but like other comments state 1. we shouldn’t be too quick to call small things racist when other issues are completely ignored and 2. at least she was featured. If Disney happened to come up with a line of Watermelon candy and feature every princess on the package but left Tiana out for fear to offending people, then we’d be fighting to get her ON the pack. Race complicates alot in America and the world in general, let’s save these talks for something worthy.

  • apple

    probably an accident.. thanks to stereotypes anything involving watermelon or grape flavored we have to run from

  • http://www.codeemphasis.blogspot.com Clarity Jane

    Black people are associated with watermelon? Not where I’m from.
    Running out of things to write about much?

  • Priceless34

    100%

  • fancypants

    Everything doesn’t have to be a big deep story. It’s not like she wrote a long essay about it; just a quick blurb. I’m rather glad she wrote this story. It gave me a good afternoon chuckle…

  • LaDreaming86

    I dislike the sentiment that because someone thinks something isn’t a big deal, it needs not to be discussed. If the smaller issues are always overlooked, they’ll just become bigger issues that cannot be overlooked.

  • iQgraphics

    Think about it.
    It’s a 2 pack. A flavor and a fruit. That makes no sense.
    Why not lemon and watermelon…
    or vanilla and chocolate….

    the latter is too obvious.
    I think it’s subliminal.

  • iQgraphics

    but i’m a full fledged conspiracy theorist with a “don’t tread on me” bumper sticker

  • http://blackonpurpose.blogspot.com/ gryph

    …watermelon AND grape flavored treats…BRILLIANT…usagi…BRILLIANT!!!

    the blacks will make me rich!!!

  • binks

    Lmao wow, I can’t call it racist because I don’t know the intent behind it but it’s very stereotypical. Honestly I would LOVE to sit in these meetings and see how these things are decided upon. Because I would never noticed something like this. But I do agree with BestAnonEver just because something may seem small and trivial doesn’t mean you shouldn’t question it or fight it…black people sitting at the back of the bus wasn’t a big issue to some people too…..

  • Georgia

    I’m going to buck the trend in the comments here and say yes, it’s racist. Is the packaging on this candy a major problem facing our country? Of course not, but add up all of these supposedly “not important enough to discuss” incidents and it builds a pretty strong case for the lack of progress that we have made toward racial equality despite all of the post-racial rhetoric of the past 3 years. You really think that the same group of people in management positions who don’t notice these racist or stereotypical references at the micro level don’t, on a macro level, apply these same patterns of thought to hirings, promotions, firings, etc., or do you think African Americans have such a higher rater of unemployment because we don’t socialize enough with white people (to reference the Beasley post)?

  • edub

    Technically, vanilla is a fruit.

  • nikki

    At least it wasn’t chocolate *rolls eyes* Somebody will always find something in EVERYTHING just to make it seem racist. That’s why nothing gets settled or left behind, because too many people wont let things be. Now if Tiana just so happened to be on the cover for the vanilla flavor, somebody would comment along the lines of “Oh….they must be sending out a subliminal message saying that vanilla is better and little black girls should like vanilla which subconsciously means white.” Tell me I’m wrong? lol you know somebody would be thinking that…

  • TrueBut

    True, but the little bits of daily racism has been shown to have dramatic health impacts.

  • Allie

    If that side is racist, then the other side is equally as racist. Just sayin.

  • Precious

    Not racist, more like tasteless and racially ignorant.

  • KristinaAmira

    Agreed. It is equally as racist for the vanilla package then. This is the problem. Always trying to point out whether something is racist. Let’s move past this instead of perpetuating something that doesn’t need perpetuating.

  • NY’s Finest

    Lmao! I was thinking the same thing, those two flavors don’t go together at all.

  • Liz

  • Liz

    ^ that…that’s racist.

  • leonard smalls

    Interesting comment; however, allow me to add the following:

    1. Truth – It is racist. Racism adversely affects Colored people; hence, Colored people must fight against any and all racism that is geared towards them.

    2. Clarity – Be not mislead, the problem has never been that Colored people focus on color, but that another group chooses to focus on color. Hence, even if Colored people were to stop “focusing” on color their problem will still exist.

  • johnson

    I am so outrage that I had to google why I was outrage… if a tree falls in the forest…

  • johnson

    my point was that i didn’t know that was racist… now i know

  • iQgraphics

    @edub
    technically, that ish is racist

  • Owens

    Not being willing to forget your history does not make you racist. Ignorance is no excuse, no even for Disney. This is just as bad as the “Fat Fairy” Epcot exhibit for children.

  • NICCOLE

    I grew up with NO Black Disney Princess either, LOL! Yeah my kinky haired brown skin self had to relate to Princess Jasmine, who was the closest to what I looked like. So yeah it may seem trivial to MANY of you; correct me if I’m wrong, to understand that when you get to a place where things that are like you are FINALLY recognized. IE, Black girls are Princesses too. Why there would be, as you call it, a big deal made over something like candy wrapping. The big deal comes into play when children can recognize that this princess is different than the others. I’m not talking color either. How would they recognize the difference well things like when I go to purchase my daughter Disney Princess Items and I can ONLY get Aurora or Belle or Arial. Don’t get me wrong we have them ALL in some way or fashion, but why can’t I get Tiona?

    Why now in a time where there IS a black Disney Princess do I feel that there still is not? In this country WE ALL KNOW that racism still exists and I agree sometimes issues can be OVER Sensitized but if we do not acknowledge that there are some intances that could have been avoided with a little sensitivity then we are destined to have something boldly racist slapped in our faces and exspected to be tolerant and quiet.

  • NICCOLE

    Y’all silly… Vanilla is the flavor of the stick!!! There is only ONE flavor of dipping candy dust, the watermelon flavor!!

  • Julian

    Watermelon: Symbolizing the Supposed Simplicity of Slaves
    by Lisa Wade, Feb 27, 2012, at 12:45 pm:

    “If you pay attention to racist portrayals of African Americans, you will notice the frequent appearance of watermelons. The trope has its roots in American slavery.

    Why watermelons? According to David Pilgrim, the curator of the Jim Crow Museum, defenders of slavery used the watermelon as a symbol of simplicity. African Americans, the argument went, were happy as slaves. They didn’t need the complicated responsibilities of freedom; they just needed some shade and a cool, delicious treat.”

    For more images, check out this link:

    http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2012/02/27/slavery-and-the-watermelon/

  • Abel

    We’ve been conditioned to only see, overt, intentional bigotry as racism. And then when somebody (often a person of color) points out instances of racism, white folks tend to jump into defensive mode worrying about their own feelings of blame. I’ve noticed that several posters on this blog are asking questions like, “Why are people freaking out about this?”

    Well, what I’d like to impress on people is that you are creating a straw man. You’re creating a straw man argument that people of color are freaking out whenever they point out or talk about racist imagery. Well, I didn’t notice anybody really freaking out about this. I saw a couple of people say, “yup. this is racist” and to talk about to talk about their personal experiences with such things as growing up with no Disney princesses while also explaining why the watermelon stereotype matters and what it’s history is.

    What the implication of this defensive reaction is that only severely, bigoted imagery is relevant and that people of color are constantly being too sensitive when the reality is that things like this are indicative of other underlying problems. It’s because this silly little candy which might seriously offend some person out there but will more often make a bunch of people roll their eyes and be perhaps annoyed did make it past a marketing department. It showed that somebody thought this was a good idea and then at least a few other people were too ignorant of history or cared too little and let this get past them. But, considering Disney’s history, this is probably the least racist thing that they’ve ever done. :P

  • Pingback: Favorite Disney Princesses Transformed Into Women Of Color « Good Black News

  • http://www.facebook.com/jnik23260 Jerome Nicholson

    Especially when they are!!

  • Pingback: Defender Network » Blog Archive » Disney princesses transformed into women of color » Defender Network

  • http://twitter.com/conservagirl Susan

    Although this article is old, I found it while searching for racist remarks on today’s National Watermelon Day reported by the Boston Globe. Is that racist too?
    Most of you commenters don’t understand the product licensing process. Disney does not make the candy or package it – and was this even sold at Disney stores or parks? Looks like something you’d buy at a 7-Eleven. The candy maker would be the one to assign princesses to packaging, and the reality is that the person who assigned these flavors to the princesses was most likely someone about 24 years old who is too young to even think about anything racist in foods, flavors, etc.
    Until minorities can get over the chip on their shoulder and stop being paranoid that everything is against them, I don’t see how racism will ever go away. They ought to be more concerned about the black-on-black murders happening in our cities and figuring out how family dissolution, drugs, and feelings of worthlessness and abandonment engendered from a very young age add to such a disdain for life itself.

  • Pingback: Our Favorite Disney Princesses Transformed Into Women Of Color (PHOTOS) | orangehairdye.com

  • Nora

    I can’t help but think that someone would have been even more offended if they’d put Tiana on the vanilla package. Just saying.

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