The appearance of “Frozen” character Princess/Queen Elsa on ABC’s series “Once Upon a Time” has created quite the controversy for some Oncers.
Following the show's Season 3 finale on May 11, fans have flocked to the Web to protest “OUAT” producer’s decision to bring the new Disney animated princess onto the program instead of incorporating some of Disney's more established, minority characters.
“Why would ‘Frozen’ by a part of ‘Once Upon a Time!’ Totally skipped the Pocahontas, Tiana, Tangled... Ugh not happy,” posted Twitter user Ligia Flores Monday, a sentiment apparently shared by a noticeable portion of ABC's viewers.
While a majority of concered fans of the series, which follows popular storybook characters ranging from Pinocchio to Snow White trapped in “our world,” are not actively participating in working to secure more ethnically-friendly roles on future episodes of the program, some fans have turned to using a public petition in an effort get their views heard by “OUAT” producers.
“The lack of POC [people of color] people in the ABC show 'Once Upon a Time' is rather depressing,” reads the fan-made Change.org petition “Put Princess Tiana in Once Upon a Time" which aims towards incorporating the first black Disney Princess, introduced in the 2009 animated film “The Princess and the Frog,” onto the show.
The petition, created by viewer Tamar Mortensen of Woodstock, Georgia, goes on to point out that almost every character of color, included Mulan (played by actress Jamie Chung) and Rapunzel (played by Alexandra Metz) have either been killed off or have unexplainably vanished from the series.
“The character Mulan has disappeared and Rapunzel, who was added to the royal line up, had one episode and she wasn’t even the focus,” Mortensen said. “For three seasons, the fans have waited patiently for at least one POC who doesn’t get shafted. With season four on its way, I decided it was time the fans made their voices heard,” Mortensen added, going on to suggest her dream casting for the New Orleans-based Princess, Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o.
“Tiana is an amazing and wonderful character that would be a great addition to the show. Also POC representation is important!” said Lindsey Dunn, a petition supporter out of Iowa City shared Tuesday. “Because Tiana is such [an] influential princess, and 'Once Upon a Time' needs more representation when it comes to different ethnicities,” participant Carsen Darling of Overland Park, Kansas gave as her reasoning for supporting the cause. “It's 2014. Why do [people] still have to ask for this?” questioned another supporter, Dominca Strong of Streamwood, Illinois, Wednesday.
While the petition had only garnered 16 supporters as of Wednesday afternoon (with 84 requested total participants remaining), many “OUAT” fans are in agreeance across social media that adding a "Frozen" character to the live-action, fantasy program may not have been the most viewer-friendly decision.
“Hold up. Hold up. Elsa’s in #OUAT before Tiana? Seriously?” asked Twitter user Ashley Postion Sunday night, later adding, “Why is Elsa in #OUAT before Tiana. I demand this answer…” "Oh hello no, ‘Frozen’ gets on ‘Once Upon a Time’ before Princess Tiana?” questioned one viewer. “Dear #OUAT writers I’m ecstatic that you brought Elsa into the show but where is Jasmine, Pochontas, Tiana etc? #somethingmustbedone,” said another fan Sunday.
On Sunday, the “Once Upon A Time” Season 3 finale revealed an upcoming “Frozen” storyline by featuring Princess/Queen Elsa during the show’s final segment. The series, currently on hiatus, is expected to return to ABC this fall for Season 4.