Updated below. In a now-deleted tweet, a Pennsylvania branch of Planned Parenthood tweeted a call for some very different Disney Princesses to join the fold of such classic characters as Pocahontas, Belle, Cinderella, and Snow White. The Wrap reports that, in a tweet posted on Tuesday, the Keystone, Pennsylvania branch of the nonprofit health organization posted a message asking for a Disney Princess “who’s had an abortion,” “who’s pro-choice,” “who’s an undocumented immigrant,” “who’s actually a union worker,” and “who’s trans.” The tweet was deleted about two hours later.
Both Planned Parenthood Keystone and the national organization did not immediately respond to request for comment from The Wrap, and IndieWire has reached out to both for comment and will update this story if they respond. See update below.
The current slate of Disney Princesses — 11 in total, from Aurora to Mulan and plenty in between — includes some of the most iconic Disney characters in the studio’s storied history, and while there have been strides to diversify the title when it comes to various Princesses’ race, that is one of the few spaces in which the characters come from different backgrounds.
Recently, “Frozen 2” co-director Jennifer Lee responded to a query regarding some fans’ desire that star Elsa (who, because of various reasons, isn’t officially counted as a Disney Princess, despite being a very popular Disney character who is literal royalty) get a lesbian storyline in the upcoming sequel, hinting it was at least a possiblity.
“We have tons of conversations about it, and we’re really conscientious about these things,” Lee told The Huffington Post while promoting her adapted screenplay for Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time.” “Elsa’s every day telling me where she needs to go, and she’ll continue to tell us. I always write from character-out, and where Elsa is and what Elsa’s doing in her life, she’s telling me every day. We’ll see where we go.”
While there is no official word from Disney on what makes a Disney Princess, the wide-ranging Disney Princess Wiki on FANDOM offers up these notes: “Each Official Disney Princess must meet the following requirements: A) has a primary role in a Disney/Pixar animated feature film, B) is human or mostly human-like (e.g. Ariel), and C) does not appear primarily in a sequel or commercial failure. The actual title of Princess (or equivalent) is not necessary, but certainly helps.”
Melissa Reed, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Keystone, provided the following statement:
“Planned Parenthood believes that pop culture – television shows, music, movies – has a critical role to play in educating the public and sparking meaningful conversations around sexual and reproductive health issues and policies, including abortion. We also know that emotionally authentic portrayals of these experiences are still extremely rare — and that’s part of a much bigger lack of honest depictions of certain people’s lives and communities.
“Today, we joined an ongoing Twitter conversation about the kinds of princesses people want to see in an attempt to make a point about the importance of telling stories that challenge stigma and championing stories that too often don’t get told. Upon reflection, we decided that the seriousness of the point we were trying to make was not appropriate for the subject matter or context, and we removed the tweet.”