I asked, “Oh, can I use this picture of you?” They were like, “Fine. If I put it on Facebook, then I’m good with it being shared.” So I took the pictures, made a collage, tweeted it, and sent it to Disney. Then more of my friends would see the picture, and they would say, “Well, I want to be on the picture. I’m a brown girl doctor.” Then people would reach out and ask, “Does Indian count as brown?” Then other people would say, “I’m Latino brown. I’m kind of beige brown. I’m biracial brown.” Then medical students started reaching out like, “I’m going to be a doctor next week.” It just got bigger and bigger. Finally, Disney’s vice president of PR or marketing contacted me, and I just knew that he was going to say, “This is our image. I don’t know what you’re doing. You need to take this down. You know we didn’t give you permission to do this, right?”
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 36 – No 10 – October 2017
KK: So you were expecting a cease-and-desist email.
MT: Yes, exactly! I didn’t even want to open it. They didn’t do that though. They liked it. They thanked me, and they flew me out to Los Angeles to meet the creators. I got to meet [Doc McStuffins creator Chris Nee], talk to her, and have lunch. The creator and I became better friends because she told me the impetus behind her creating the show. Her child had been sick, and initially, the girl was a little white girl. Then the Disney vice president said, “Would you mind making her black?” She said, “Absolutely not. That’s totally fine.” When I was talking to Chris Nee at the lunch table, I asked her about the show and asked, “What’s the mom’s name? The kid is cute, but the kid is not a real doctor, right? She plays with stuffed animals. The mom is a cartoon real doctor.”
When I was talking to Chris, I said, “Wow, you should name the mom Myiesha!” I went into what the meaning of Myiesha is. It’s Arabic, and it means “life’s blessing.” I was totally joking with her. Some months later, she called me and said, “You’ll never guess what happened.” I asked, “What? What happened?” She said, “You’ll see tomorrow on the press release.” They named her Maisha because she didn’t have a name before then. So now Doc McStuffins’ mom’s name is Maisha McStuffins. So that’s kind of cool.