Fans defend Disney’s casting of Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid remake amid race row
4 July 2019, 14:23
Disney fans have rallied behind the brand and actress Halle Bailey following the announcement she will play the Little Mermaid in the live-action remake.
This week, it was announced actress Halle Bailey has been cast as Ariel in the upcoming film The Little Mermaid.
The announcement and decision has sparked a race row, as some argue that black actress and singer Halle does not look like the original Little Mermaid from the 1989 Disney film, who had white skin, red hair and green eyes.
However, a lot of Disney fans have defended the decision, and are ecstatic that Disney is becoming more diverse.
One fan of the choice commented on Twitter: “When I was younger, I loved The Little Mermaid because Ariel had hair like mine. That was important to me, people were mean.”
She added: “And now, a different group of kids are getting a Little Mermaid that looks like them. Representation is really important to kids.”
Another added: “Ecstatic that Ariel from The Little Mermaid is going to be played by a black woman. Representation is so important and I wish for all the little girls from all over the world of every race and colour to feel represented, proud, and empowered. Can’t wait already!”
People are also celebrating the decision to cast a black woman as Ariel due to the lack of diversity in earlier Disney films such as Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and The Seven Dwarves and Cinderella.
In fact, one passionate person pointed out on Twitter that until 2009, Disney had not produced a black princess.
In 2009, they delivered with Princess Tiana in The Princess and The Frog.
They wrote: “Disney created 49 films from 1937-2009 before delivering their first black princess with Tiana. Black girls watched an entire catalog NEVER seeing themselves. For 70 years.”
Director of the upcoming film Rob Marshall said of their decision to cast Halle: “Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance – plus a glorious singing voice – all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role.”
Halle is also ecstatic at stepping into the iconic role, writing on her own social media that the role is a “dream come true”.