The Little Mermaid Voice Actress Jodie Benson Comments on Casting of Halle Bailey

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The Little Mermaid has become a hot-topic issue with Disney choosing African-American actress Halle Bailey to take on the role. While a lot of people are arguing online about the casting, original Ariel voice actress Jodi Benson gives her two-cents about who should be playing Ariel.

Talking during a panel (via @mmdisney200), Benson says:


"One thing for a film is to be able to tell a story. We need to be storytellers, and no matter what we look like on the outside, no matter our race, our nation, our color of skin, our dialect—whether I'm tall or thin, or I'm overweight or underweight, or my hair is whatever color, we really need to tell the story, and that's what we want to do. We want to make a connection to the audience. So I know for Disney, that they have the heart of storytelling; that's really what they're trying to do. They want to communicate with us in the audience so we can fall in love with the film again."

I have to say, the answer from Benson is pretty diplomatic, and I don't really see her taking a solid stance with the issue. Then again, I guess there's a lot of pressure on her answer, seeing that she's the original Ariel.

Just look at the backlash that The Last Jedi got after Mark Hamill admitted he wasn't a fan of the direction they took Luke. I'm sure Benson (and Disney) doesn't want that kind of reaction to take place when it comes to The Little Mermaid.


Love it or not, Disney has been making a lot of money when it comes to these live-action remakes, so I don't expect them to stop anytime soon. I'm just hoping they do remakes of films that deserve the live-action treatment. Where're Atlantis and Treasure Planet?

No release date has been set for The Little Mermaid, but you can catch Disney's The Lion King when it hits theaters July 19.

See Also: The Little Mermaid: Halle Bailey Gets Awesome Advice From First Non-White Ariel