The Little Mermaid fans are at war after Disney’s casting of Halle Bailey as Ariel sparks bitter online race row – The Sun

The Little Mermaid fans are at war after Disney’s casting of Halle Bailey as Ariel sparks bitter online race row – The Sun

FANS of The Little Mermaid are at war on Twitter after Disney revealed black actress Halle Bailey as the iconic lead Ariel in the live action remake.

The underwater princess has red hair, white skin and blue eyes in the famous 1989 Disney animation as well as in Hans Christian Anderson's original fairytale.

The new direction for the big budget reboot has delighted many who claim that millions of girls of colour around the world deserve a Disney heroine they can relate to.

But others who grew up watching the red headed mermaid have accused filmmakers of removing the essence of Ariel.

Speaking in defence of 19-year-old Halle's casting, one person wrote: "When I was younger, I loved The Little Mermaid because Ariel had hair like mine. That was important to me, people were mean.

"And now, a different group of kids are getting a Little Mermaid that looks like them. Representation is really important to kids."

Another said it was ridiculous skin colour was being made an issue when the character is a mythical creature.

One posted: "If you’re a racist, you’re probably justifying your complaints about The Little Mermaid being black by saying “iTs nOt rEaLiStic.
Please remember, Mermaids of any ethnicity, singing crabs, talking fish and handsome, caring men don’t exist."

A third shared their delight: "Ecstatic that Ariel from The Little Mermaid is going to be played by a black woman ❣️ Representation is so important and I wish for all the little girls from all over the world of every race and color to feel represented, proud, and empowered. Can’t wait already!!!"

Addressing the debate over Ariel's flame-coloured hair, another vented: "Why are gingers acting like they’re their own race? y’all are white! not at gingers ranting about the little mermaid cast when they already have that scottish princess from brave."

Others weren't so happy, noting that Disney remakes such as Aladdin and Beauty And The Beast feature actors who look like their animated counterparts.

Denouncing the decision as a joke, one fumed: "This is a joke right? I mean The Little Mermaid ??‍♀️ was one of my favorite movies growing up, it still is.

"Not to be rude or anything but honestly, I really wish the character playing Ariel looked as close to her as possible. All other Disney movie characters do. This is Ariel ??."

A second likened the move to the remake of musical Annie which saw black actress Quvenzhané Wallis play the role made famous by redhead Aileen Quinn in 1977.

"Actually really unhappy that Ariel wont be a red head anymore!" they wrote. "First Annie now Ariel it's not on! Its what makes the character them! Red heads need protected!!! Stop changing s**t ? #LittleMermaid."

The filmmakers are confident in their decision, insisting Halle has all the attributes to deliver a memorable performance.

Director Rob Marshall said: “Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance – plus a glorious singing voice – all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role.”

While the actress herself said it was a “dream come true”.

The film will feature songs from the 1989 animated classic – including favourites Under the Sea, Part of Your World and Kiss the Girl.

There will also be new tunes from original composer Alan Menken and “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Halle could be joined by Awkwafina and Jacob Tremblay, who are in talks to star as Scuttle and Flounder, respectively.

Melissa McCarthy is also in talks to star as the sea witch Ursula.

Halle has already built up an impressive CV and counts Beyonce and Halle Berry among her fans.


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She began her career performing covers of pop songs on YouTube alongside Chloe.

The singer caught the eye of Beyonce after a cover of her hit Pretty Hurts went viral in 2013, earning the sisters, performing as Chloe X Halle, a record deal.

Their debut EP, Sugar Symphony, was released in April 2016 and that year they opened for Beyonce on the European leg of her Formation World Tour.

Both sisters are actors and star together in US sitcom Grown-ish.

They worked with Beyonce again last year, opening on the US portion of her and Jay Z’s On The Run II tour.

In February this year, Chloe X Halle, who were born in Atlanta, Georgia but raised in Los Angeles, California, sang America The Beautiful at the Super Bowl, a highly sought after gig.

At the Grammys, the sisters earned two nominations, for best new artist and best urban contemporary album for their The Kids Are Alright.

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