Social media reacted this week when a YouTube channel, producing kiddie cartoons, posted a video episode about a white angel who is cursed and turns into a Black woman. Commenters were quick to point out that My Pingu TV was promoting stereotypes about what is considered beautiful, while also instilling racism.
The 13-minute animation titled “Dina and the Prince” features a white woman, Dina, who is forbidden from speaking to a prince. Because Dina has fallen in love with the gent, she goes against the rules set forth for her and talks to him, anyway. Her concealed identity as an angel has been revealed.
Upon her confession of this to her “Lord” she admits to knowing she is in the wrong, and cops to the consequences. She insists she told him knowing fully well, “that if I spoke to my husband before I could light this torch with my singing I would lose all my beauty and my youth.”
The cartoon then clips to Dina, the next day, with brown skin. “And we see that she is not as beautiful. Her glow is gone and her face is scarred,” the animation’s narrator says.
Dina cries her apologies to the prince, saying, “and now I am ugly.” The prince, in return, pacifies her and says, “You love me so much that you gave up your beauty for me, Dina! You think I care how you look? I love you!”
Dina’s “sacrifice” for true love is looked at favorably and she is returned to her white skin. All is now well in Dina and the prince’s world. Unfortunately, it’s not so well for the cartoon’s creators.
Comedian DL Hughley and others weighed in. “This is just a portion of this #Racist cartoon on #youtube on the “My Pingu TV” channel,” Hughley captions an IG post sharing a snippet of the video. “The story teaches that the woman is beautiful and blessed when her skin is white and her hair is straight, but that she is ugly and cursed with her natural dark skin and curly hair. I had to take a second to watch it for myself. This is a very direct message being told to children and it should be taken down.”
He hashtagged the post, #TeamDL#racism #lovetheskinyourein and added, “Um?????”
According to Yahoo, the company has since retracted the cartoon and issued an apology on its Facebook page. In summary, they called the post a “great mistake” and assured that it was “unintentional.” They also promised, “it won’t happen again.”