The Little Mermaid is one of the most iconic Disney cartoons of all time. The show and its cast of incredible characters have won over a lot of kids’ hearts over the years. One character from the cartoon that was especially popular was Ariel. The character would go on to become one of Disney’s most popular characters of all time. Hence, when the live-action movie for The Little Mermaid was announced, fans were excited.
However, the movie’s release has gained some negative headlines after the actor who plays Ariel in the movie, Halle Bailey was subject to racist trolling. Following the casting announcement in 2019 and the first trailer last year, fans took to social media to complain about a black actor playing Ariel in the movie.
The same thing happened again this time when another trailer for the movie dropped on February 15. However, this time, Halle Bailey addressed the racist trolls in an interview with The Face.
“As a Black person, you just expect it and it’s not really a shock anymore. When [Chlöe and I] first signed to Parkwood, [Beyoncé] was always like: ’I never read my comments. Don’t ever read the comments.’ Honestly, when the teaser came out, I was at the D23 Expo and I was so happy. I didn’t see any of the negativity.”
She continued, “I know people are like: ’It’s not about race.’ But now that I’m her…People don’t understand that when you’re Black there’s this whole other community,” she added. “It’s so important for us to see ourselves.”
The director of the movie, Rob Marshall, told Entertainment Weekly that his team auditioned actors from different ethnicities and had “no agenda” behind their selection.
“We just were looking for the best actor for the role, period. The end,” Marshall said. “We saw everybody and every ethnicity. [The goal was to find someone who can be] incredibly strong, passionate, beautiful, smart, clever [and with] a great deal of fire and joy.
Bailey had all of those qualities, plus the kind of voice the role of Ariel demands. As Marshall explained, “That voice is something that is so signature and so ethereal and so beautiful that it captures the heart of Eric and he looks for her for the entire film.”
The Little Mermaid is set to hit theaters on May 26, 2023, and if it is anything like the animated series, then fans will be in for a treat. Until then. Stay tuned to Thirsty For News.
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