Disney Brilliantly Respond To Trolls Complaining About Halle Bailey Playing Ariel In ‘The Little Mermaid’ Remake

Alfie PowellAlfie Powell in Entertainment, Film
Published 09.07.19

Disney have responded after many livid fans complained about Halle Bailey being cast as Ariel the mermaid.

In remarkable form, many people have taken to the internet to chastise Disney for casting a black actor – the wicKEDly talented Halle Bailey – as The Little Mermaid.

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.

the little mermaid casting complaints

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:

It reads:

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.

halle bailey little mermaid trolls

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