January 29, 2023

Nappy Newz

Black News for Black People.

Twitter users attack Disney plan for ‘white African princess’ movie

Screenwriter Stephany Folsom forced to deny suggestions ‘fantastical adventure’ tale will champion colonialist attitudes

 Emily Heaton

Twitter users have blasted Disney’s plans to shoot the true story of an American father’s bid to make his daughter a real-life princess.

The Hollywood Reporter revealed yesterday that screenwriter Stephany Folsom is to write the script for The Princess of North Sudan, which was first announced in November. The film centres on an expedition made in June last year by Jeremiah Heaton, of Abingdon, Virginia, to an 800 square mile patch of land between Egypt and Sudan, reputed to be the last unclaimed territory on the planet, after his seven-year-old daughter Emily asked him to make her a princess. Heaton travelled to the desert territory of Bir Tawil for 14 hours in a caravan, before planting a flag designed by his children in the ground and announcing the birth of the new kingdom of North Sudan. He hopes to live there one day with his entire family as royals.

Heaton’s bid to claim African territory has attracted criticism in the past, but the fresh fury appears to have been inspired by the description of The Princess of North Sudan in the new Hollywood Reporter article. The film is described as a “unique princess tale inspired by the true account of an American man claiming a territory in Africa and proclaiming himself and his family its royal rulers … focusing on the relationship between the father and daughter set against a backdrop of a fantastical adventure”.

Critics pointed out the potential public relations disaster if Disney’s first African princess turned out to be a white girl, and accused the studio of championing colonialist attitudes.

Folsom, a first-time screenwriter best known for the unfilmed Black List script 1969: A Space Odyssey or How Kubrick Learned to Stop Worrying and Land on the Moon, took to Twitter to deny the new film would give Heaton a free ride.

She also wrote, in later-deleted comments: “Agree w/everything people are saying. Wouldn’t write that story. But if you want to focus your hate on me, go for it.

“I’ve been to the Sudan. The people there are amazing. Colonialism is bullshit. Hope you all have a beautiful night.

“Honestly, I feel like the trades slanted this to create controversy … There is no planting a flag in Sudan or making a white girl the princess of an African country. That’s gross.”

Heaton, meanwhile, is not giving up on his dream of using the land as a “test-bed” for scientific advancement to help improve global food security. Earlier this week, he launched a crowdfunding campaign aimed at helping the new “kingdom” resolve global food shortages to create a “future free of hunger”. So far the project has raised $4,150 via Indiegogo.

Super Size Me’s Morgan Spurlock is set to produce The Princess of North Sudan, but given the current controversy surrounding the project, it remains to be seen whether the film will go ahead.

Source: Twitter users attack Disney plan for ‘white African princess’ movie 

Translate »
%d bloggers like this: