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ANAHEIM : Boy Seeks Portrayals of Mixed-Race People

A 13-year-old Stanton boy will help lead a protest today at Disneyland to call for more portrayals of mixed-race families in movies and advertisements.

Brian Harris, whose mother is white and father is black, said his anger was sparked at a 1991 audition for a Disneyland commercial for a Christmas parade.

Harris was cast as part of a Latino family and his brother, Rodney, 11, was cast in a black family, he said.

“I want everyone to show interracial families,” Harris said.

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“If we get a good script that describes a (mixed-race) family, we would make the movie,” said Disney spokesman Tom Deegan. “But that’s not the basis on which we create an entertainment. We don’t have any special formula for making movies.”

The protest is directed not only at Disney, Harris said, but media everywhere. He and his family took part in a similar protest Friday morning outside the Walt Disney Co. in Burbank, attended by about 15 people.

Harris is trying to bring a larger group of protesters to the Disneyland rally, he said. The group will hold signs outside the Harbor Boulevard entrance of the amusement park.

Harris has also been active in other ways. He founded a pen-pal group in February for children of all races. About 15,000 children have written him to get a pen pal since his project was featured in newspapers and on “The Home Show,” a television talk show.

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“Kids who hear bad things about different races can write to someone of that race and hear that those things aren’t true,” Harris said.


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