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Anika Noni Rose speaks on Princess Tiana skin lightening

BEFORE AND AFTER: The original Wreck-It Ralph Princess Tiana was considerably lighter in skin tone (Image: Disney)

ANIKA NONI Rose, the actress behind the voice of Disney’s first ever black princess, has shared her thoughts on the lightening controversy.

Rose published a lengthy post on Instagram detailing her thoughts on the situation following the news that Disney had consulted with her over the amended design, which was prompted by a campaign from anti-racist campaigners.

She said: “I’ve been very quiet on this subject because it was important for me to do my due diligence before publicly addressing something as near and dear to my heart (and face) as Princess Tiana.”

The Dreamgirls actress said she too was shocked by the images of the princess released in as part of the promotion of Wreck-It Ralph 2. The images revealed alterations to the beloved character’s skin tone and features.

“This summer new images were released where she looked very different, with lighter skin and much sharper features. I was surprised as most of her and my fans were,” she said.

The 46-year-old actress said she immediately called Disney to discuss the changes and then met with them three weeks ago as part of the team consulted to help create an image truer to her original likeness.

Rose said that the studio informed her that CGI animation can affect the appearance of characters. The Princess Tiana of Wreck-It Ralph 2 has been developed using CGI compared to original depiction of the character in the The Princess and the Frog which was achieved with hand drawn animation.

In addition to Rose, her character’s original animator also took part in the meeting.

“I was able to express how important it is to the little girls (and let’s face it, grown women) who felt represented by her that her skin tone stay as rich as it had been, and that her nose continue to be that little round nose ...the same nose on my very own face and on many other little brown faces around the world, that we so rarely get to see represented in fantasy,” Rose said.

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