Disney slam people criticizing Halle Bailey's 'Little Mermaid' casting
The world seemingly went up in flames when Disney announced that Grown-ish star Halle Bailey would play the lead role of Ariel in the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.
And while it seems strange that the public would have such a strong opinion of a mermaid, many wondered if a black actress should play a character that was formerly depicted as white in the 1989 animated version by the same company.
Several famous people have already applauded Disney's choice to include more people of color on-screen, the likes of who include name sister Halle Berry:
Even Jodie Benson, the original voice actor of Ariel, told ComicBook:
"The most important thing is to tell the story. And we have, as a family, we have raised our children, and for ourselves, that we don’t see anything that’s different on the outside."
And while Halle Bailey received a lot of outpouring support for her new role, a lot of people also trolled her online. Several people took to Twitter with #notmyariel to boycott the decision to cast her.
Though neither Disney or Halle have come forward to talk about this controversy, Freeform, which is an American pay television channel owned by Disney, did post an Instagram in the actress' defense in light of the criticism with the caption: "An open letter to the Poor, Unfortunate Souls."
Part of the post reads:
"The character of Ariel is a work of fiction. So after all this is said and done, and you still cannot get past the idea that choosing the incredible, sensational, highly-talented, gorgeous Halle Bailey is anything other than the INSPIRED casting that it is because she ‘doesn’t look like the cartoon one,’ oh boy, do I have some news for you…about you."
But perhaps the most telling part of their response came with this burn:
"But for the sake of argument, let's say that Ariel, too, is Danish. Danish mermaids can be black because Danish *people* can be black."
And here's the thing: mermaids aren't real. So truly, it shouldn't matter who plays them. (This is stupidly reminiscent of when Star Wars fans were arguing over what a Jedis could and could not do - They're fictional.)
Plus, Disney released almost 50 films from 1937 before they created Tiana as their first black princess in 2009. This means that so many children of color grew up watching Disney movies without seeing anyone that looked like them and who they could relate to. Well done Halle, you're our Ariel!