The news that Halle Bailey would be cast as “Ariel” in the “Little Mermaid” remake was met with mixed reactions across the internet. While some took to social media to applaud this development, others showed their disapproval with the hashtag #NotMyAriel trending.
Although Halle has been endorsed by Disney itself and many other celebrities, she has also been criticised heavily. One thing that has remained striking though is her silence during the whole ordeal. Indeed, Halle Berry has all the qualities of a Disney princess: a good singing voice and the right carriage. She has also been a fast-rising act gaining the love and acceptance of many in the industry.
Due to the similarity in name, Halle Bailey is often confused with the actress Halle Berry. The 19-year-old singer and her sister Chloe Bailey make up the music duo Chloe X Halle. They both ventured into music when they were only 11 and 13 and caught the attention of Beyonce who signed them to a recording contract for a an amount of $1 million.
With the reputation the duo has gained in the industry, it was hardly a surprise when Disney revealed its intent to cast Halle as “Ariel” in the next live-adaptation of the little mermaid. According to award-winning producer Rob Marshall, she turned out to be just the right fit for the role: “After an extensive search, it was abundantly clear that 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.”
However, this revelation from Disney has stirred controversy among fans of The Little Mermaid.
While Some have reacted positively to this news with tweets like:
dream come true… 🧜🏽♀️🌊 pic.twitter.com/sndjYUS6wO
— chloe x halle (@chloexhalle) July 3, 2019
In case you needed a reminder… Halles get it DONE. Congratulations @chloexhalle on this amazing opportunity, we can’t wait to see what you do! #TheLittleMermaid #HalleBailey pic.twitter.com/z0Rik2nxRe
— Halle Berry (@halleberry) July 3, 2019
— Janelle Monáe, Cindi (@JanelleMonae) July 4, 2019
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) July 4, 2019
Others have reacted with their not-so-happy tweets:
Ariel must be a cute girl with white skin and red hair singing sweet and crisp!! Refuse her to become black!! If Ariel can turn into black skin, then I am equally qualified to ask Tiana to turn yellow skin!!#Ariel #ArielisBlack
— tuanrunrun (@www35296758) July 4, 2019
The little mermaid was written as white, was white in the film, is based in Denmark and based on a European fairytale, but is cast as black… How is this not racist and cultural appropriation? If this were the other way round, those celebrating would be boycotting. #Ariel #Halle
— Rhys (@Rhys98983932) July 3, 2019
@Disney You just ruined The Little Mermaid. Why is it so hard to be accurate with the original animated movie? I don't have a problem with the actress, but she doesn't look like Ariel at all. If u want more diversity, why don't you make new movies with new characters? #NotMyAriel https://t.co/WfqMjs0TV3
— Marivi (@marivi_freedom) July 4, 2019
This controversy stems from the fact that the “The Little Mermaid” originated from Denmark and is based on a European storyline. However, Disney aims to promote racial inclusiveness by casting Halle Bailey, a black woman, for the role of Little Mermaid.
What do you think about Disney’s decision? Are you in support or against?