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.
It's easy for you to say it because you are kinda black , Ariel must be white because she is a white girl and that's it, the black community always wants to change the original story to his own story with a black guy or girl— Demiansouk (@demiansouk) July 4, 2019
I want Ariel to be white ..... no hate to my skin or nth...— Andene Bailey💙 (@DeeniBaleeni) July 3, 2019
But that's how ive seen her since I was born.. white girl, red hair green tail...
☺this must be a joke!
as a black girl i must say im very confused as to why a black girl is playing a ariel. if it were a white person playing a poc character it would be whitewashing, why not just have a white person play a white character— Rocky⚔️ (@SEXYCULT) July 3, 2019
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.
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!!!— Kari ✨ (@dandykari) July 4, 2019
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.— Hannah (@HannahPalframan) July 4, 2019
Here's what I don't get:— Matthew St.Clair (@filmguy619) July 4, 2019
Scarlett Johansson stars in GHOST IN THE SHELL:
"Eh, they probably wanted the best actor for the job."
But when a black woman plays Ariel in THE LITTLE MERMAID, people are like:
"A disgrace. Ariel should be white."
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.
One argument i've read is that ariel being black or white doesn't really affect the story,,,,,,,, yeah i guess,,,,,,,,, i can accept this reasoning,,,,,, but if you make ariel black they should make all mermaids black— alex /rest/ (@0430alexu) July 4, 2019
people are bringing up science to justify their racism towards disney casting a black girl as ariel ..... i can't even. SCIENCE? SHE'S A FUCKIN MERMAID MATE! a literal girl with a fish tail. in what world does the science of what deep sea skin colour would be make sense? shut up!— saint chloe (@korcariwilds) July 3, 2019
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.
She's a mermaid Becky, they don't really exist, unlike your racism.— SMDH at Bros🥀🍩 (@AYFKMPEOPLE) July 3, 2019
hello, if you’re having trouble understanding disney’s casting in the little mermaid, READ THIS: Ariel is a CARTOON FISH WOMAN who’s race has 0 correlation with her story. If the original cartoon portrayed Ariel as a black fish woman, the story would not change.— dari (@dariodrodriguez) July 4, 2019
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.