Enjoy the soft wares.
All the best.
LOS ANGELES — “It was finally my time.”
Those words, spoken by the animated Princess Elena in the first episode of “Elena of Avalor,” a new Disney Channel series, are meant to reflect power: The zesty teenager has reclaimed her tropical kingdom from an evil sorceress. But the line has a deliberate double meaning. With Elena, Disney has created — at long last — its first Latina princess.
“It’s not a secret that the Hispanic and Latino communities have been waiting and hoping and looking forward to our introduction of a princess that reflected their culture,” said Nancy Kanter, the Disney executive overseeing the show, which will begin on July 22 with toy and theme park tie-ins. “We wanted to do it right.”
Did the company succeed? Or is Elena, like some of her royal counterparts, about to run afoul of the princess police?
Few matters in entertainment are as fraught as the Disney princesses, a dozen or so characters led by Cinderella and Snow White that mint money for the Walt Disney Company but also are cultural lightning rods. People who love the princesses (they’re pretty and live happily ever after!) and those who despise them (they promote negative female stereotypes and unrealistic body images!) square off endlessly. Academics study their adverse societal impact, even as women dress like them for their weddings.
Add race and ethnicity, as Disney is increasingly doing with its cartoon heroines, and this is a minefield, especially because animation by its nature deals in caricature. In 2009, when Disney introduced its first black princess, Tiana, every corner of her film, “The Princess and the Frog,” was dissected for slights.
Aware of the scrutiny that “Elena of Avalor” will receive, Disney has loaded each 22-minute episode with Latin folklore and cultural traditions. Avalor has Aztec-inspired architecture. Episodes will include original songs that reflect musical styles like mariachi, salsa and Chilean hip-hop. Elena’s black hair, gathered in a luxuriant pony tail, is accented with apricot mallow, a flower native to Southern California and Northern Mexico.
“We brought in a whole lot of consultants to advise on everything,” Ms. Kanter said. “We wanted to make sure that she didn’t have a doll-like appearance, and we really wanted to steer clear of romance. She has male friends, as teenage girls obviously do, but we did not want it tinged with, ‘Ooh, they’re falling in love.’”
The first episode, made available through a Disney Channel app on July 1, has received positive feedback. “We were all very pleasantly surprised at how well the character was conceived,” said Axel Caballero, executive director of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers. “This is going to have a great impact.”
Already, though, “Elena of Avalor” has run into questions of princess parity, starting with the medium: Why is Disney introducing her through a television series aimed at children 2 to 11 and not in a full-fledged family movie, like her counterparts? “It really seems like a shun,” wrote Mandy Velez, a co-founder of Revelist, a publication targeted to millennial women.
For Rebecca C. Hains, author of “The Princess Problem: Guiding Our Girls Through the Princess-Obsessed Years,” the newest member of Disney’s royal court wins points for her heroism. In the first episode, Elena, after the deaths of her parents, tries to prove that she is ready to be queen, even though she is only 16.
“She’s not an ornament,” said Ms. Hains, an associate professor of advertising and media studies at Salem State University. “This is a princess with real political power, and that’s genuine progress.”
Still, Ms. Hains was cautious. “The mashing together of cultures gives me pause,” she said. Noting that older characters speak with Spanish accents and that Elena (voiced by the Dominican Republic-born Aimee Carrero) does not, Ms. Hains added, “Being modern and cool seems to mean talking like an American.”
Craig Gerber, who created “Elena of Avalor,” said the accents simply reflect a generational gap, a dynamic seen in many Latino families. He called the attention given to the Disney princesses “incredibly daunting,” but something that made the show better. “I really hope that young Latino children are happy to finally feel represented,” he said.
Serious people closely scrutinizing a cartoon character is the blessing and the curse of being Disney. Because its programming commands such attention, especially among children, the company is often held to a higher standard than competitors. Seemingly everyone has an opinion — often delivered as a demand — about what Disney should be doing with its characters, especially when it comes to diversity.
In 2014, tens of thousands of people signed a petition pushing for a Disney princess with Down syndrome. In the spring, the company faced an online campaign to make Elsa from “Frozen” a lesbian. In recent weeks, an online brush fire has broken out around “Moana,” an animated Polynesian adventure to be released in November; an overweight male character has been criticized as offensive to Pacific Islanders.
“Elena of Avalor” comes as Disney tinkers with its princess strategy. The company has started depicting its princesses in more active poses on toy packaging and emphasizing their various personalities. Pocahontas and Mulan, for instance, are now more prominent.
(For the record, Princess Leia doesn’t count as a member of this group, at least in Disney’s eyes. And celebration over the introduction of a Pacific Islander princess in “Moana” has apparently been premature. Because the film barely mentions her lineage, the company will not be calling Moana a princess, according to a Disney spokesman.)
As for Elena, Disney contended that television was better than film. Rather than relying on parents to take their children to a theater, Disney will pipe “Elena of Avalor” directly into hundreds of millions of homes. The series, which already has a five-season “content plan,” will run in 163 countries and be translated into 34 languages. Disney has also tried to make the series look and sound more like a movie than a television cartoon.
“The goal is certainly to give it as cinematic a feel as possible,” said Tony Morales, who scored the series, drawing inspiration from José Pablo Moncayo, a Mexican musician.
Disney is certainly not skimping on Elena’s promotion, including in the toy aisles, where analysts say there is an opportunity to steal market share from Dora the Explorer, the Latina preschool character that Nickelodeon introduced 16 years ago. It typically takes up to 18 months after a show’s debut for related products to arrive in stores, but Elena items — stuffed animals, shoes, children’s bedding, backpacks, clothes — were made widely available on July 1. Books and Halloween costumes are still to come.
In other words, Disney’s expectations for a hit are high.
“We know that the Latino community is extremely vocal and active,” Ms. Kanter said. “As long as we tell a good story and create a character who is compelling and interesting and stands for something, I think the audience will be really pleased.”
culled from http://www.nytimes.com
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The last has not been heard of the Linda Ikeji/Wizkid beef as the blogger was reported to have taken the case before the commissioner of police.
Confirming the report, Linda Ikeji took to her blog to exxplain to her fans why she had to bring the case before the police commissioner, and she wrote:
I’m sure many of you have read that the police is now involved in my issue with Wizkid. Yes, I reported his public threat to me two Sundays ago to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police and I want to explain why I did it! Please pay attention and keep an open mind.
I’ve read a lot online from people saying I don’t like Wizkid. Even Wizkid himself thinks I don’t like him. Why he or anyone would think so is puzzling to me to be honest. Apart from his achievements after he started insulting me online a few weeks ago…everything else, every success Wizkid has recorded in the last 3/4 years is on LIB. All the awards, all the record breaking feats, his sold out concerts, his foreign magazine features, and collaborations, everything that has built him up to the young man he is today is on LIB. Please verify! Search my blog. Please continue…
I was a huge Wizkid fan. The only song I danced harder to than his ‘Dance For Me’ track was Fuse ODG’s ‘Antenna and Kiss Daniel & DJ Shabzy’s Raba. So, no, I had no dislike for Wizkid. But about a year ago, I noticed his indirect snide remarks at me…and when some other music star beefed with me, Wizkid showed his support and made disrespectful comments. That was when I noticed he had issues with me… but that didn’t stop me from writing about him and celebrating him.
Now to the issue at hand. When I reported that he was served quit notice at his Lekki home, I stated fact and I didn’t write it out of malice. It’s not everyday you get exclusive stories…and I’m sure any other blogger who got the story first would also have published it. So, there was no beef, I was just doing my job. A day or so after I wrote this story, Wizkid went on my instagram page to call me names and lied that I slept with some director of his…which I have said before is 1000% lies! But the insult and lies is not why the police is now involved.
Here’s the thing; You can insult me, insult my family, call me any names you like, even lie that I slept with your forefathers…but don’t threaten me. If you threaten me, I will act!
I read people online saying that I reported to the police because I am scared of Wizkid. No, my darlings, I am not afraid of Wizkid. Though I do not take his threats lightly. I went to the authorities for two reasons…and please young boys of our generation, pay attention to what I am about to write below.
You see, violence against women and threat of violence against women is not okay. Threatening harm to someone in a public space is a criminal act in every country of the world, including Nigeria. I bet some of you didn’t know that, yeah? You can not publicly threaten someone with harm. You will only get away with it if your victim doesn’t report to the authorities. If they do, you will have a case with the police and I promise you, the police take these things seriously.
I reported this case to the authorities because I want our young men to know this is not okay. You should not raise your hands on a woman. You shouldn’t even threaten to raise your hands on a woman. Wizkid wrote that he would send his 16 year old cousin to beat the shit out of me. Letting Wizkid get away with it is basically telling our young men that this is okay…and it’s not!
After Wizkid made the threat to me, I saw a lot of teen boys hailing and applauding him. To them, this was okay. If their idol can threaten a woman with harm, and use derogatory words, they also can do it…and that’s how the circle of abuse of women continues. Women being called ‘smelly pussy’ trended online for a day or two! Little boys were happy to use the words. Sad!
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It is appalling to me that anyone, especially women, would cheer Wizkid on. When he wrote RIP Linda, I saw a few young girls write same, laughing. This is not a laughing matter. It doesn’t matter whether you like me or not! This is not about Linda Ikeji. This is about abuse of women which has eaten deep into our society, so deep that it has now been accepted as normal. Men do it all the time and get away with it. So many women are battered by their husbands and they refuse to speak up because of the stigma. They refuse to seek help because they are afraid of what people will say. I am sorry, I am not one of those women. I refuse to be victimized. And as long as I have my voice and my platform, I will speak up.
We women have to come together to lend a strong voice to the plight of women in our continent. When we see a woman being physically and mentally abused, let’s act. Let’s speak up. Let’s not laugh and say she deserves it. If we continue to keep quiet, the circle of abuse will continue. And one day, You, yes You, will find yourself in the receiving end of a thundering slap, followed by heavy blows. If not you, then maybe your daughter? Let’s condemn violence and threat of violence against women! This is not acceptable!
Young men like Wizkid, a father of two young boys himself, should never advocate violence against women. One day, he will have a daughter, how would he feel if another male threatens to put hands on her or even calls her a hoe?
I can’t count how many times Wizkid called me a hoe in his rant against me. That’s what boys do. When they get into a fight with a woman, they try to slut-shame her. Smelly pussy, hoe, ashawo etc. You call a woman, who gave another young woman, whose real name she doesn’t even know N500,000 just because she said she would rather work by carrying cement than prostitute herself, that’s the person you call a hoe? When your mind is so warped you can’t differentiate between a woman and a whore, then this is what happens. Except you drive to Sanusi Fanfuwa at 2am to pick up a prostitute, who proudly describes herself as one, then you shouldn’t call any woman a hoe.
Even Tupac who was a well known thug could differentiate between the types of women he dealt with. When asked in an interview why he called women bitches, he said people shouldn’t confuse things, that he wouldn’t address a mother or a sister the way he would address a bitch, that the bitches were the ones he dealt with in the clubs who behaved like one. He reiterated that he respected women!
In more civilized countries, Wizkid would have lost his endorsements and spent the next year or so apologizing and being in the fore-front of promoting anti-violence crusades against women. It took Chris Brown years to get back on his feet after his assault on a woman. Up till today, he doesn’t have any major endorsements and some countries still deny him entrance into their country i.e Australia for something he did 7 years ago. Yes, violence against women is serious!
And there’s the case of incitement. When you have power and influence, you have to be careful what you say in public. Because you have such power, something you say can influence your followers. A fan can commit acts that even you may not support or might not even condone. But because it came out of your mouth, they think you mean it. So it is irresponsible to say things that might be inciteful. In Law, you can be held responsible when people act based on what you said in public. Tupac was charged to court and indicted after some thugs killed a police officer. The thugs went to court and mentioned that their idol encouraged violence against LA police officers in a song where he said ‘Drop a cop’. So, we folks with some measure of influence should be more careful with our utterances. People are watching and listening!
The second reason I filed a police report is to encourage other women in similar situations to do same. My dear ladies, if a man threatens to puts hands on you, and you feel the threat is real, report to the authorities. Don’t wait until he does it. What if you don’t survive it? If he’s picked up and may be charged to court (yes, you can be charged to court for making threats…it’s a misdemeanor with a prison sentence), then he will think twice before making threats against you in the future or any other woman for that matter.
I went as far as I did for me and for other women. This is to pass a strong message to our young men that these kinds of behaviour towards women will not be tolerated. Should not be tolerated. If you assault or even threaten to assault a woman, the law will come after you if she chooses not to be silent. Women, don’t be silent. Let’s break the circle. For your sake, for my sake, for the sake of our daughters, grand daughters, great grand daughters and all other women that will follow them.
And that’s really all I have to say in the matter. Thank you guys for reading
And to Wizkid fans, please be rest assured that I wish him all the best in life. He will continue to grow from strength to strength (as long as he doesn’t endorse violence against women) and his light will never diminish. God brought him to this level and will continue to keep him. I have nothing but love for his craft and hope that one day, we will put this behind us.
God bless him, me, you and everyone else in the world
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