By now, you have probably heard that Disney is making a movie called “The Princess of North Sudan” based on the story of the world’s most horrifically spoiled child and her father who is a terrible parent. If not, let me run this past you.
Once upon a time (last year), in the faraway land of Virginia, a six year-old girl named Emily asked her father if she could be a princess. Her father, Jeremiah Heaton, told her that she could. Explaining this, he literally said…
“With a child you don’t want to ever tell them they can’t be something they desire to be, and at age six, her frame of reference for the world was to be a princess. So I told her that she could be.”
Fearing that he had lied to his child, he went on a mission to actually make her a fucking princess. He found a patch of disputed territory in Africa, flew over immediately and planted a flag designed by his precious snowflake children and declared his lily-white daughter Princess Emily of The Kingdom North Sudan.
I don’t even know where to begin with this. I hate these people, almost violently. All I can do here is thank my own parents for not being Jeremiah Heaton. Repeatedly. In fact, I might send them flowers with a card saying, “Thanks, Mom and Dad, for loving me enough to tell me no once in a while and not raising me to be an entitled asshole.”
When I was four or five, I asked my father if I sang as well as Billie Holiday. He told me no.Emphatically. I was very upset at the time, as I was under the impression that parents were supposed to always say “yes” to those sorts of questions. When I told my mother about this infraction, she also told me that I, a four year-old white girl, did not sing as well as Billie Holiday.
In retrospect, I cannot imagine the absolutely insufferable adult I would grow up to be had I thought, at the age of four, that I sang as well as Billie Holiday. I probably never would have bothered to practice, take singing lessons and would have ended up on an American Idol audition making an ass out of myself and being shocked and appalled that the judges did not think I was a great talent.
For what it’s worth, the term “princess” in our house was also decidedly not a compliment.
The reaction to the news that Disney has found a writer, Stephany Folsom, to pen the script, has not been especially positive. People are rightly horrified that Disney’s first African Princess is a little white girl whose daddy colonized a piece of Africa so she could be a special princess. I am not all that shocked, given that Disney himself was a Nazi sympathizer.
For her part, Folsom has insisted that detractors are wrong about the kind of movie she is going to write. In a now deleted tweet, she wrote, “There is no planting a flag in Sudan or making a white girl the princess of an African country. That’s gross.” I assume she deleted it, because that is, in fact, the crux of this entire story.
However, I do have an idea about the way this story could be told in order for it to not be horrible. In fact, there is another movie with a character quite exactly like Princess Emily and a father quite exactly like King Jeremiah Heaton that could serve as inspiration for Folsom should she choose to make this not awful.
I would totally watch Gene Wilder toss both of these people right down a garbage shoot. It would please me.
Granted! There are other possible endings for this movie. In fact, when I called my mother to thank her for not being Jeremiah Heaton, she suggested that a good ending for the movie might be a little Black girl moving in, taking over the Kingdom of North Sudan, and someone shoving Princess Emily’s tiara right up King Jeremiah’s ass.
However, a movie glorifying a white man colonizing a portion of Africa so his spoiled daughter can be a real life princess is the last movie anyone needs.