Published: Oct 22, 2012 6:36 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 22, 2012 6:36 PM EDT

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Walt Disney Co. is defending its newest princess following a backlash over her Hispanic-influenced ethnicity.
    
A new character named Sofia will star in the TV movie "Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess" airing Nov. 18 on the Disney Channel and Disney Junior. Hispanic advocacy groups questioned whether the fair-skinned, blue-eyed young princess is an accurate representation of the Hispanic population and wondered why Disney isn't doing more to promote its first princess with Hispanic-inspired roots.
    
"Sofia the First" co-executive producer Craig Gerber said in a Facebook post Friday that Sofia is "a mixed-heritage princess in a fairytale world." Gerber said Sofia's mother and birth father hail from kingdoms inspired by Spain and Scandinavia, and Sofia was born and raised in a make-believe kingdom patterned after the British Isles.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)