Disney Princess Shuts Down Creepy Fan

in Disney, Theater

Mulan holding her sword in the climax of the animated movie

Credit: Disney

At a recent performance of Here Lies Love (2023) on Broadway, real-life Disney Princess Lea Salonga had to handle creepy fans backstage all by herself.

Disney Princesses Tiana Rapunzel Jasmine Mulan Moana from Disney official site
Credit: Disney

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It’s no surprise that Disney Princesses are some of the most popular fictional characters of all time. Whether you’re walking around Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom or watching a Disney Movie, there is no shortage of young girls who want to be Princess Ariel from The Little Mermaid (1989, 2023), Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty (1959), or Princess Tiana from The Princess and the Frog (2009).

Needless to say, every Disney fan loves at least one Disney Princess. However, some fans take this too far, often feeling entitled to personal treatment from the actual actors and singers who portray these characters on screen. Such was the case when a fan barged into the dressing room of Lea Salonga.

Real-Life Disney Princess Stands Up to Creepy Fan

Lea Solnga surrounded by each Disney Princess she played: Jasmine and Mulan
Credit: Disney, The Tony Awards via Wikimedia Commons

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A Tony Award-winning actress, Lea Salonga is a Filipino icon most recognized for her vocal performances as Princess Jasmine in Aladdin (1992) and Fa-Mulan in Mulan (1998). These roles led to her being recognized as a Disney Legend in 2011, alongside other actresses who voiced iconic Disney Characters, including Jodi Benson (Princess Ariel), Paige O’Hara (Belle), Linda Larkin (Princess Jasmine’s speaking voice), and Anika Noni Rose (Princess Tiana).

Currently, Salonga is performing on Broadway in Here Lies Love, leading the first all-Filipino cast in Broadway history. Unfortunately, the show became the news when an audience member snuck backstage into Lea Salonga’s dressing room.

Here Lies Love ensemble with Vanessa Williams and Lea Salonga
Credit: Here Lies Love Instagram

In a video of the incident, Cristopher Retokelly Carpila wandered the theater’s backstage area, a place most audience members are rarely allowed to go. Claiming to be a Guest of the show’s producer Giselle Töngi, Carpila entered Lea Salonga’s dressing room. Surprised but calm, Salonga asked who the man was and politely told the man to leave, adding, “I’m sorry because if I allow this now, other people will take advantage.”

Having recognized Carpila as an audience member who rushed her onstage after the show ended, Salonga wound up having to escort Carpila out of the theater herself. It was later revealed that he snuck in along with some friends in a large group, and the producer had no idea who they were.

One of the people most shocked by this incident was Carpila himself. In a now-deleted post on his public Facebook page, he criticized Salonga for not taking a photo with him. “For Sister LEA, If ever we are wrong and we are not on the Guestlist, the fact that we are already there just to take pictures, lined up and paid dearly for the show, maybe as a fellow FILIPINO and FANS to be given at least a little RESPECT AND EVEN IF NO LONGER HUGS OR KISSES you can be allowed to take a PICTURE for a moment.”

Despite his reaction, fans online have staunchly stood by Lea Salonga and how she handled the situation, often noting that they would have “cussed at them and kicked them out.” Others have taken to attacking the man on social media, something that doesn’t help anyone.

While many have paged Lea Salonga’s kindness in the situation, she has made note that this is something that is not acceptable at any theatrical event, stating, “I have boundaries. Do not cross them. Thank you.” Salonga has also given her thanks to the theater’s security team and supporters, noting that she loves fans visiting her at the stage door.

While this situation is a nightmare for any celebrity, it’s fortunate that it ended with nobody getting hurt. People need to remember that all public figures, whether they’re an official Disney Princess, a movie star, or even a YouTuber that feels like a friend, they are their own people. They need to be respected and left alone in private spaces.

How do you think Lea Salonga handled the situation? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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