Fans Are Upset That Ariel In 'The Little Mermaid' Remake Won't Be Played By A White Woman

Fans Are Upset That Ariel In 'The Little Mermaid' Remake Won't Be Played By A White Woman

Halle Bailey from the R&B duo Chloe x Halle will play the lead in the remake. Some people thought Ariel's whiteness was integral to her role while others lauded the studio's efforts at trying to diversify mainstream animated characters. Few wondered why the hullabaloo since Ariel is fictional.

The Little Mermaid is one of the most iconic animated shows from the Disney studios and one loved by millions around the world and associated with fond childhood memories. With many studios being gradually aware of the importance of representation and need for diversity in movies and television,  there was a change in the plans with regards to a live-action movie based on the animated show that was announced a few days back. Ariel, the main character, will be played by a black woman rather than the white and red-haired mermaid that people have been used to seeing. While many were glad about the change, there were those who were not pleased to hear of the news.



The actress and singer Halle Bailey, of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle has been zeroed to take up the role of this iconic character and people are losing their minds. The animated musical romantic fantasy film was first released back in 1989 to very positive reviews. The movie itself is based on a fairy tale written by Danish writer, Hans Christian Andersen. It is the story of a mermaid princess who falls in love with a human, a prince, and desires to be a human herself. 




The film won two Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Best Original Song. So far there have been 12 official Disney Princesses in Disney franchise since it started in 1937. These include Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Princess and the Frog that came out in 2009, to name a few. For a lot of people, Ariel being white seemed to be a matter of such great importance that they were aghast at Ariel being cast as a black in the remake of the movie. 




The hashtag #NotMyAriel has been trending on Twitter since news about a black Ariel became known. On Twitter, a Twitter handle called Rhys, wrote : 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 




Another Twitter user named, tuanrunrun argued: 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. On the other hand, the announcement was met with positive reactions from a lot of people who said that the change was for the better. One Twitter user, MAX‏ wrote: Halle is going to be so incredible as Ariel in the Little Mermaid.



This person added: To all the racists out there who can’t wrap their head around a beautiful black woman embodying this role Open Your minds Your eyes Your ears Hear that brilliant voice & spirit That’s what the world needs. Then there those who wondered what the fuss was all about since even the story is based on a fictional character and could be portrayed in any way, one liked.  Twitter handle, duke‏ wrote:  Since yall wanna claim "historical" or "scientific" inaccuracies with #NotMyAriel, I'm bringing this back.




Duke added: Your pale white and skinny red-headed Ariel is fictional. Another person with the Twitter handle, Ashe wrote:  "I don't like Ariel being black. Its not historically accurate." GIRL WHAT THE F*** MERMAIDS ARENT REAL U JUST DUMB AS F*** #NotMyAriel. Whatever be the motivations for the remake or the reactions towards it's black character, we think it's a healthy change by Disney considering most of their princess have all looked more or less the same.


Back in 2015, a Tumblr user named Alex traced the face shapes for male and female characters from the past 10 years of Disney/Pixar movies. He found that while the men had a variety of face shapes, the studio was not so creative when it came to women’s face and shapes. Most had round cheeks, giant round eyes, and tiny button noses and mostly identical. Many people also confused Halle Bailey with Halle Berry

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