Systemic Injustice in A Disney Movie? You’re Joking Right?

By Alyssa Suarez

No, I’m not joking!

I was watching “The Princess and The Frog” the other day on Netflix when I notices that there was some systemic injustice in the movie. In one scene, Tiana just got done raising enough money to buy a place that was going to be her father’s restaurant. At her best friends party, she ran into Mr. Finner, which is who she bought her place that was going to be her restaurant from. She then found out that someone offered more money then her for the place. After the Mr. Finner told her this, he then said something to her that was an example of systemic injustice. After Tiana told them how long it took her to save that money up, they said “Exactly! Which is why a little woman of your background would have had her hands full trying to run a big business like that. Your better off where your at.” This is an example of systemic injustice because they are assuming because she is African American that she can’t or would struggle running a big business even though they didn’t exactly come out and say that. They just sugar coated it all though I also think they did that due to this movie being meant for children. I never really realized this until I began to watch this movie again.

When looking at New Orleans’s background, the African American population began to grow. Some slaves were able to earn their freedom there, and others came to New Orleans from present-day Haiti, fleeing a slave revolt there and bringing along Voodoo and other traditions. (New Orleans) If you click on the link, you can learn more about New Orleans’s history. New Orleans’s history is important when understanding Tiana’s background, as Shannon explains her background in the video below. If you fast forward to 7 minutes she begins to talk about Tiana’s background.


Tiana deals with hardships as an African American woman who is taught that working hard is the only way she will pursue her dreams. When Mr. Finner made that comment about her, that was systemic injustices. That caused Tiana to fall into the category of Otherness. As Simone de Beauvoir explains in her article, Tiana falls into the category not only due to being a woman but also as an African American. Which is an example of intersectional identity, as we talked about in week six.

When watching The Princess and the Frog not many notice that their is racial discrimination because it is systemic injustice. By making this comment, this demonstrates an example of Otherness, which Simone de Beauvoir talks about in The Second Sex “Introduction”.

I think it is important to understand what systemic injustice is because if you pay attention, you will see that it is everywhere just like I notices in my favorite movie “The Princess and the Frog”.