Earlier this week, news broke that Halle Bailey (No, not Halle Berry) will be playing as Ariel in Disney’s live-action adaptation of the Little Mermaid and the news since then has disrupted a part of the internet as fans continue to debate over the studios’ choice of actress. For starters, a section of the audience on Twitter was displeased to learn that the role will be played by a POC (people of color) and fans began sharing their disappointment by stating #NotMyAriel on Twitter and many calling the casting as “blackwashing”.
Supporters soon rallied to tweet out videos and other information regarding the source material to show why the R&B singer is perfect casting for the role. Some fans have been sharing the actress’s Youtube cover all over the internet to justify that her stunning voice makes her the best choice to play a Disney princess. One video in particular, which is a rendition of Nat King Cole’s classic track ‘Unforgettable’ has been shared all over the internet by fans.
— hassankhan (@hassankhan_kh) July 4, 2019
Wow, her voice is so beautiful it gave me goosebumps! Halle Bailey as Ariel in the live action "The Little Mermaid" is perfect casting. 😍pic.twitter.com/bBJQybENJ3
— Anne Wheaton (@AnneWheaton) July 4, 2019
Halle Bailey as Ariel for the live-action of Little Mermaid is the best casting! she has the perfect voice for a Disney Princess. pic.twitter.com/XK9Wjb9nmr
— c (@chuuzus) July 3, 2019
Others like user @Chloecassady_ pointed out that choosing POC for the live-action shouldn’t come as a big surprise since The Little Mermaid TV series had a POC character named Gabriella, a deaf-mute Latinx based on a real 2-year-old girl, a young fan who died of Leukemia.
The young girl was immortalized by the show creator by using a photograph of the young girl to portray her as a teenager in the CBS cartoon series.
Yall dont understand how badly i always wanted a spin off show ft. Gabriella and her octopus, from the little mermaid TV show. This was my all time favorite epsiode. Not only was she black but she was deaf. This episode (let alone the show) doesnt get enough credit. Go watch it. pic.twitter.com/El7dLkgEel
— Becca (@RebeccaWestern) July 5, 2019
This is Gabriella, a deaf-mute Latinx mermaid from The Little Mermaid tv series, which ran from 1992-1994. Mermaids have never just been white. pic.twitter.com/Km12ZrNlFp
— Chloé Burton (@chloecassady_) July 4, 2019
Anyone who says that the new little mermaid (or any mermaid) can't be black has clearly never seen the tv series. Gabriella was deaf, mute, AND a POC. She was based on a real fan and they immortalized her via the show.
So don't give me that " but she's from Denmark" excuse. pic.twitter.com/P1WZZwqcFv
— The Other Apprentice (@ZoraCatone) July 4, 2019
Another fan pointed out that the choice of region and voice accent for the show all indicates that her character should have been portrayed as a POC from start.
“Fact box: the Little Mermaid lives on a TROPICAL CORAL REEF with a calypso-singing lobster with a strong Jamaican accent. When you think about it, it’s bizarre she was white the first time around,” You can check out the tweet below.
Fact box: the Little Mermaid lives on a TROPICAL CORAL REEF with a calypso-singing lobster with a strong Jamaican accent. When you think about it, it's bizarre she was white the first time around.
— Caitlin Moran (@caitlinmoran) July 4, 2019
What do you think of Halle Bailey playing as Ariel? Let us know in the comments below.
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