PICK A PRINCESS CHALLENGE → Tiana | Saddest Scene
Can I talk for a minute about Mr Fenner and Mr Fenner?
They were very civil towards Tiana, kind even. The one explicitly racial reference made in the film was when they said that a young lady of her ‘background’ wouldn’t be able to manage a restaurant herself. Their kindness was, of course, a kind of paternalistic, benevolent form of misogynoir, but how do we know that it was even kindness?
We have absolutely no reason to believe that they actually had another buyer lined up. A buyer willing to pay the full amount for a sugar mill that’s been empty for decades just miraculously crops up as soon as Tiana gets enough money for the down payment?
I think that, despite the fact that they were kind and polite, they just couldn’t stand to see a black person (a black woman no less) own a business. I don’t think they ever expected her to get enough money for her restaurant, probably figured that she’d squander the cash/get pregnant/become an alcoholic or something else equally black before she got the money together.
Chances are they also own a lot of property in the black neighbourhoods and are probably known for doing ‘fair’ (only slightly extortionate) business with black people (hence why Tia was so comfortable doing business with them) so just rejecting her offer outright with no explanation beyond ‘fuck that n*gger’ would damage their reputation.
And I think Tiana knew that racism was the issue here, but she’s not one to give up so thought that if she could just outbid that mysterious buyer in time, could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that she could afford the space, that she might just have a chance at getting the mill after all.