When her casting was announced, the hashtag #NotMyAriel began to trend on Twitter, which must have been horrible for Bailey, but also highlighted how people will complain about literally anything the minute they’re given the platform.
Not to detract from this, because this is clearly a close-minded race issue, but similar things happen every time Marvel does something in one of their films that doesn’t exactly mirror what happens in the comics.
Oh my god I can’t believe they did that to the Mandarin. That’s not how I like him!! So what, some people do. If you want that story, read that story.
Halle Bailey’s black. That’s why people aren’t happy that she’ll be portraying someone who, in the 1989 cartoon film, was a red-haired white girl/mermaid.
Backing Bailey though are the likes of fellow actor Halle Berry (quite confusing, I know), who tweeted this…
Now, while the conglomerate of Disney are yet to comment on the issue – and they will likely just let Bailey’s performance talking – Freeform, a network owned by Disney, have responded with this statement:
“Yes. The original author of The Little Mermaid was Danish. Ariel…is a mermaid. She lives in an underwater kingdom in international waters and can legit swim wherever she wants (even though that often upsets King Triton, absolute zaddy).
But for the sake of argument, let’s say that Ariel, too, is Danish. Danish mermaids can be black because Danish *people* can be black.
Ariel can sneak up to the surface at any time with her pals Scuttle and the *ahem* Jamaican crab, Sebastian, (sorry, Flounder!) and keep that bronze base tight. Black Danish people, and this mer-folk, can also *genetically* (!!!) have red hair.
But spoiler alert — bring it back to the top — the character of Ariel is a work of fiction. So after all this is said and done, and you still cannot get past the idea that choosing the incredible, sensational, highly-talented, gorgeous Halle Bailey is anything other than the INSPIRED casting that it is because she ‘doesn’t look like the cartoon one,’ oh boy, do I have some news for you…about you.“
Firm and fair.
Not sure about the Zaddy bit. I don’t even know what that means.
It’s just one of the issues film studios have with casting. Fans who have liked the stories for years start taking ownership just because they’ve liked them for a certain amount of time and think they have a right to choose how things go.
And then there’s the general racism. Not good. I’m sure Halle Bailey will do a fantastic job.
Whether or not Disney actually need to remake every film they made before the year 2000 is another question entirely, but Bailey’s a good bit of casting.
Back to Marvel, a similar thing happened when Zendaya was cast as MJ in Spider-Man – oddly enough another white, red-haired character in the comics – and people kicked up one hell of a fuss… and then nothing happened. She’s really good at it.
Also Halle Bailey is 19. Leave her alone.
Images via Disney, Getty
Alfie Powell joined as an apprentice and was probably hired because he was likely the only person who applied. He's been blagging his way through writing articles for four years now and he's definitely showing signs of slowing down. When not writing for The Hook, Alfie finds time to indulge in his favourite hobbies, such as drinking and sitting down. You can contact Alfie at [email protected]Follow