Disney has been having a rough year, at least as far as their stores are concerned. First, there was a crisis when Disney ran out of Frozen merchandise and incensed parents started spamming their Facebook page with angry messages. Now, they've done a complete 180 into another crisis. Disney made the mistake of telling parents that there were no plans for Star Wars' Princess Leia products at the Disney Store, because I guess they had a death wish. Or thought Star Wars was just for boys. Or thought that boys don't love Princess Leia. Or — the point is, Disney messed up.
That became immediately obvious when Twitter once again became a platform for social activism. This time, the campaign was hosted under the hashtag #WeWantLeia. Disney came under fire from parents and bloggers about the lack of Star Wars products for girls, which, admittedly, kind of misses the point. After all, Leia's gold bikini isn't a lasting and iconic image because girls love gold bikinis. (Well, not entirely because girls love gold bikinis.)
Regardless, Disney swiftly backtracked on their original statement when they spoke to TIME magazine on Wednesday: "The current assortment of Star Wars products at the Disney Store launched earlier this year, and is just the beginning of what is to come. We’re excited to be rolling out new products in the coming months, including several items that will feature Princess Leia, one of the most iconic characters in the Star Wars galaxy."
Oh, really, Disney? Just the beginning? Is that why you said there were no plans for Princess Leia products before? As one savvy #WeWantLeia campaigner pointed out, "why do [girls] have to keep PROVING their fandom?" Frozen might be breaking records left and right, but it seems like it's still going to take a long time for Disney to realize that independent women sell to both genders and shouldn't be excluded just because something is supposedly "for boys".
Exactly how long it's going to take for Princess Leia merchandise to sell out on the shelves like Princess Anna and Queen Elsa dolls did two months ago is still anyone's guess. After all, Disney is right. Leia is one of the most iconic characters in the Star Wars galaxy and the public has clearly been suffering from a lack of merchandise featuring her. Thanks, Twitterverse. You've done good.