Disney just released the trailer for the live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid. The film stars Halle Bailey as Ariel, Jonah Hauer King as Prince Eric, Mallissa McCarthy as Ursula, and Javier Brandem as King Triton. The teaser released at the D23 Expo received a good response, and the Halle Bailey even got a standing ovation after the teaser reveal. However, not everyone was impressed with the actress in the teaser.
Fans were excited after, Disney announced a live-action remake of the classic Little Mermaid. However, this excitement soon faded for several fans after Halle Bailey was cast in the film for the role of Ariel.
It became a hot topic about how Disney is wrong for casting an actress of color for the role of a princess who is supposed to be white, even though no such specification about the character is mentioned anywhere.
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Why is Everyone Obsessed With the Idea of Ariel Being White?
According to the original animated film and the Hans Christian Anderson source material, Ariel is a mermaid princess, the youngest daughter of King Triton. The story follows her as she longs to find out more about the world beyond the sea. She falls in love with Prince Eric while visiting the surface and makes a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula.
However, there is no mention of Ariel being white or from any specific race. But many who have seen the animated The Little Mermaid, are not satisfied with Halle Bailey’s Little Mermaid. They came out calling her version inappropriate just because she is black.
This is not the first time people have objected to the skin color of the actors playing a certain character, who according to them is supposed to be white. Earlier, the same thing happened with the House of the Dragon actor, Steve Toussaint, who plays Corlys Velaryon in the show.
People started calling out the makers of the series for casting a black actor for the role and even started comparing a work of fiction with historical facts.
Even though they do not have any suitable reason behind it, they still argue that Ariel can’t be black. These people failed to see Halle Bailey as Ariel even after her, being fit for the character, from her looks to her voice and singing abilities. The only thing they focused on was the color of her skin.
Netizens Come to Support Halle Bailey as The Little Mermaid
Not everyone is offended by Halle Bailey’s portrayal of The Little Mermaid. People have praised her after its teaser release and have given their support. Netizens even appreciated Disney for not having the same idea of having a white princess only. They started sharing tweets under #myariel supporting Bailey.
Here are some tweets shared by fans on Twitter.
— alias (@itsjustanx) September 9, 2022
HALLE BAILEY IS MY ARIEL 💕💕 pic.twitter.com/EEa4VKc14y
— 𝙱𝚎𝚌𝚌𝚊. (@MJFINESSELOVER) September 9, 2022
An entire generation of children will forever know Halle Bailey as their Ariel and I love it! https://t.co/B2ZSn8I5Xl
— DOM😘 (@MzDiva_16) September 10, 2022
— Halle Bailey Legion 🧜🏽♀️ #MyAriel (@HalleLegion) September 9, 2022
— TLM enthusiast ❄️ (@be95_xx) September 10, 2022
Disney Casting Yara Shahidi as Tiker Bell
Halle Bailey is not the only black actress breaking the stereotype of a Disney princess. Disney cast Yara Shahidi for the role of Tinker Bell in the live-action adaptation of Tinker Bell. Same as Halle Bailey, Shahidi has also been a topic of conversation for the racist trolls.
These trolls seem to be having problems only when an actor of color is cast for a role that is supposed to be white usually. But what about when it’s contrasting? In 2019 Aladdin, Naomi Scott played the role of Jasmine, an Arab princess who appears to be of a dark skin tone in animation.
No one objected to an English actress playing the role of Jasmine, especially not because of her skin color being too white compared to that of Jasmine. So, why the issue arises when the situation is reversed?
Netizens even argued that the original author of The Little Mermaid was Danish. Taking it into consideration, they concluded that Danish mermaids will be black too. But even after all this, Ariel is a fictional character, and if people still cannot get past the idea of Halle Bailey playing her, they are nothing but racist.
The Little Mermaid will hit the theatres on May 26, 2023.