Sequel to the Disney’s announcement that Halle Bailey will be playing Ariel in live remake of “The Little Mermaid”, tons of celebs have offered their congratulations on social media and many fans even expressed their delight at having a woman of color take on such an iconic role. Some even went as far as making a painting of her.
However, shortly after the news broke, a protest with the hashtag #notmyariel began trending on Twitter with many criticized the casting of a black actor as Ariel.
It's not a movie about mermaids … it's about the 1989 Disney movie based on the story "The Little Mermaid" Written by Hans Christian Andersen where he describes white skin as blue eyes.
Ariel is from DENMARK … Nordic … #NotMyAriel #Itisnotinclusive pic.twitter.com/7fMNy2xhGI
— Paola Flores (@PaolaFl55150463) July 5, 2019
Although neither Disney nor Halle have commented on the backlash, Freeform — a Disney network — wrote what they call “an open letter to the Poor, Unfortunate Souls” to critics of the network’s choice.
It read, “Yes. The original author of The Little Mermaid was Danish. Ariel…is a mermaid. She lives in an underwater kingdom in international waters and can legit swim wherever she wants (even though that often upsets King Triton, absolute zaddy). But for the sake of argument, let’s say that Ariel, too, is Danish. Danish mermaids can be black because Danish *people* can be black. “Ariel can sneak up to the surface at any time with her pals Scuttle and the *ahem* Jamaican crab, Sebastian, (sorry, Flounder!) and keep that bronze base tight. Black Danish people, and this mer-folk, can also *genetically* (!!!) have red hair. But spoiler alert — bring it back to the top — the character of Ariel is a work of fiction. So after all this is said and done, and you still cannot get past the idea that choosing the incredible, sensational, highly-talented, gorgeous Halle Bailey is anything other than the INSPIRED casting that it is because she ‘doesn’t look like the cartoon one,’ oh boy, do I have some news for you…about you.”