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“My nana used to see her family cotton picking “: Halle Bailey, Whose Family Has Dealt With Horrendous Racism, Was Not Expecting Fan Hate For Her Role in Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’

"My nana used to see her family cotton picking ": Halle Bailey, Whose Family Has Dealt With Horrendous Racism, Was Not Expecting Fan Hate For Her Role in Disney's 'The Little Mermaid'

Following the casting of Halle Bailey for the movie adaptation of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, some fans were happy with the casting decision. Some were not delighted with the decision because, according to them, the casting choice is misleading as the mermaid was light-skinned in the animated film. While some people were heavily complaining, other complaints started arising that there were heavy racist slurs for casting the young actress for the role of Ariel.

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Halle Bailey

In recent complaints about the racist slurs, Halle Bailey bravely talks about how she was taken aback by the dreadful prejudiced remarks people called her with for the casting decisions. She bravely faced the backlash and talked about it, as well as shared the racist remarks that her grandparents faced when they first migrated to The Land of Opportunities.

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Halle Bailey Talks About The Horrible Racist Remarks Faced By Her Grandparents

Recently, Halle Bailey was present with Sunday Mirror for an exclusive interview, where the Homecoming actress was horrified when the online trolls started arising when her role was announced for the live-action movie. The trolling shifted to racial remarks which made Halle Bailey recall the “horrendous experience” faced by her grandparents when they first migrated to the USA.

Halle Bailey
Halle Bailey

Bailey shared that the trolling started with a campaign on social media with the hashtag #notmyariel. The campaign surprised her because she had never received hate on that scale, and it reminded her of the stories shared by her grandparents.

“When the negative comments started, I was shocked, because it wasn’t some – thing I really anticipated – at least not on that scale. Then I started to think, ‘I’m from the Deep South, it’s not like this is the first time I’ve experienced racism’. My Nana used to see her family cotton picking and my grandpa remembers ‘whites only’ water fountains.”

Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid
Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid

The Last Holiday actress shared that recalling these “horrendous experience” in person is nothing in comparison to the online campaign launched to replace her in the movie.

“When I think of the horrendous experiences they had, it makes a hashtag and some online hate seem totally inconsequential.”

While Bailey has been shown immense backlash on social media for her role of Ariel, the actress shared how some celebrities and fans have backed the actress on different social media which has given her the courage to portray the role of Ariel in The Little Mermaid. 

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Halle Bailey Is Grateful For The Fans’ Support

While the singer is happy for being backed by celebrities like Beyoncé and Zendaya, she is grateful how little girls are ecstatic to see her play the role of Ariel in the movie, and it made her focus on the bigger picture. 

 “Seeing the reaction of little Black and Brown girls seeing a different Ariel for the first time was so emotional. There was this one TikTok where this adorable little girl said, ‘Mom, she is brown like me’. I can’t put into words the encouragement that gave me.”

The Little Mermaid
Halle Bailey as Ariel and Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid

The singer added she enjoyed every moment of playing her role and becoming a Disney Princess, who “stepped outside of her comfort zone” and gave her the confidence and courage she needed in life.

“Being able to bring Ariel to life was incredible. She is one of those Disney princesses who stepped outside of her comfort zone and really went after what she wanted in life. She has so much courage. I am still young myself and I’ve been trying to step outside my own comfort zone.”

The Little Mermaid fails to satisfy Disney fans
A still from The Little Mermaid

Halle Bailey’s statements show that even though there are some people who would show unwanted hate to her, there are people who would stand by her through thick and thin, as she serves as a role model and they have deep empathy and boundless compassion forming a superficial bond with them.

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The Little Mermaid will release in theatres on 26th May 2023.

Source: The Irish Mirror

Written by Tushar Auddy

A voracious reader and a wordsmith at heart. Tushar is a student of Linguistics, who's always on the lookout for a good book or a captivating story. He has a passion for literature that runs deep and loves nothing more than getting lost in a novel for hours on end. When he isn't reading, you'll find him scribbling down his thoughts and musings, always eager to capture the beauty of language.