The Little Mermaid starring Halle Bailey is set to release on May 26th, 2023. The teaser trailer for the movie was recently released, but the movie, or rather the actress playing the role of Ariel, has been receiving a ridiculous amount of hate for her role.
Representation has been a very important focus for media of any sort in the current age, and with it, the evolution of what has been happening too should be reviewed and updated to match the times. Be it a feminist angle to Camilla Cabello’s Cinderella or diversifying Ariel in The Little Mermaid.
What the audience has been responding with, they are not to be classified as fans, but rather just people who have been adding fuel to their ignorant behavior towards an actor and their craft.
Racism Hidden Within These Superfans
In the multimedia platforms that can give rise to more inclusivity and diversity, it is only fair for fairy tales of childhood to grow along with this progress as well. After the cast announcement of Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid, the actress was thrown with a boatload of negativity and hate.
What at first seemed to be a disagreement with the casting choice soon grew into people being against how her version, the live-action version of Ariel would not be played by a white character. They stated how the casting wasn’t lore accurate. The term ‘lore accuracy’ has become a way for these “fans” to find issues with a person of color being cast in a role that was originally played by a white person.
Halle Bailey herself has been the victim of a lot of racism, however, the actions taken by the audience after the release of the teaser trailer would be beyond any limit of disrespect imaginable for the actress and a person of color in general.
Artificial Intelligence Covering Halle Bailey
After the latest trailer for the movie was put up, some fans have gone to lengths to make an AI change the trailer in many ways. The AI quite literally whitewashed the clip. Halle Bailey’s Ariel no longer holds her face. As talented as a person she is, this AI has opted to create a new version of the trailer with Ariel as a white person, in fact, Bailey’s face has been lightened by the AI.
Some of these people state that people of color cannot have ginger hair when they don’t wish to check on facts and want anything to justify their points and support their prejudice. The factor of lore accuracy plays no part in their arguments either because, in the original story of Ariel, written by the Grimm Brothers, the mermaid was far darker than a children’s classic would have even considered acknowledging.
Halle Bailey Is Not Alone In This Discourse
Halle Bailey is not the first actor to face such criticism masking racism. When the cast for Titans was announced, Anna Diop faced a lot of hate regarding her portrayal of Starfire as a dark-skinned character. Zendaya too was a victim of all the backlash after her announcement as MJ in the MCU’s Spider-Man.
The Sandman, a series that recently aired on Netflix experienced a lot of hate because of the creators chose Kirby Howell-Baptiste to play Death, a role originally described as a very pale lady. The show kept getting instances stating how they were drifting from the lore with hers not being the only role to see a change in appearance and race. This however stood to be meaningless as Neil Gaiman himself, the writer and creator of the character and the show, was personally involved in its making and made these decisions himself.
The point which needs to be stated is that Halle Bailey is a talented actress with a brilliant voice. The director of the film is Rob Marshall, who has famously created a bunch of movies with aspects of music in them. We believe, as so do many of her supporters, that Bailey is an excellent choice for the character and this only builds more anticipation to see her in the role.
Source: Giant Freakin Robot