The Little Mermaid Star Finally Addresses Racist Backlash Following Ariel Casting

Chloe x Halle
Credit: Chloe x Halle

Chloe x Halle
Credit: Chloe x Halle

Disney has been producing live-action adaptations of our favorite fairy tales for years now but despite that, it always somehow ends up being talked about in a controversial fashion. Take for instance for the upcoming The Little Mermaid project which sees rising star Halle Bailey in the lead. For the uninitiated, her casting as Ariel drew massive backlash from fans because of the actress-singer's ethnicity.

expand image
Credit: Disney

For the longest time, Bailey has tried her best to avoid addressing the matter but now, it looks like the 22-year-old star has embraced the backlash and turned it into something positive. Speaking with Variety to discuss her breakout role, Bailey reflected on the negativity her casting generated.

Being a person of color, Halle emphasized the importance of being cast as Ariel for her community. She said: "It’s important to have a strong support system around you. It’s hard to carry the weight of the world on your own. It was an inspiring and beautiful thing to hear [my grandparents'] words of encouragement, telling me, ‘You don’t understand what this is doing for us, for our community, for all the little Black and brown girls who are going to see themselves in you.'"

She added: "What [Ariel being a person of color] would have done for me, how that would have changed my confidence, my belief in myself, everything. Things that seem so small to everyone else, it’s so big to us."

Also Read: The Little Mermaid Star Dismisses X-Men Casting as Kitty Pryde

It's great to hear that Halle isn't all that bothered by the naysayers and frankly speaking, I think she'll nail the role and blow her critics away with her performance. I personally can't wait to see the film myself.

Disney's live-action remake of The Little Mermaid is slated for theatrical release on May 26, 2023.

This Article's Topics

Explore new topics and discover content that's right for you!

DisneyGeek Culture