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disneyHalle Baileyjamo magazineThe Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid Casts Halle Bailey And #NotMyAriel Is Already A Thing

Halle Bailey The Little Mermaid

Disney is making waves in Hollywood with the casting of its lead for The Little Mermaid

The 19-year-old star is best-known for being one half of Chloe X Halle and is sure to be a popular choice with younger audiences. Sadly, the casting of a person of colour in the live-action Little Mermaid has raised a few eyebrows.

Bailey has the honour of being the second black woman to portray a Disney Princess, following in the footsteps of Brandy in 1997’s Cinderella. Talking about Bailey’s casting, director Rob Marshall confirmed (via The Hollywood Reporter) that she’d been a frontrunner from the start:
“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.”
There has been plenty of support for Bailey’s casting, with many highlighting her singing voice as a huge reason for her landing the part, plus Disney moving away from its standard portrayal of princesses.

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Brandy was the first black girl to be a princess in live action Disney movie. Halle Bailey is now only the second. We need more of this representation. Congrats to Halle Bailey on her role as Ariel! 😍🙌🏾

32.6K people are talking about this

Disney: We’re casting Halle Bailey as Ariel!

Racists: Horrible casting! She’s not a ginger!


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However, this ‘poor unfortunate soul’ is facing the trolls of the internet online. Still, it wasn’t exactly a secret that Disney was touting a black actor to play the soulful Ariel. Aside from Bailey, Spider-Man: Far From Home‘s Zendaya was also at the top of the casting list.
To be honest, I’m not surprised that even in 2019, people have a problem with a black version of Ariel. Of course, someone’s already started a #notmyariel:

For people who say a black person can't play a redhead, I present to you my fully African-American little brother who is a natural redhead. Care closed. Can't wait to see the movie @chloexhalle 😅😂

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The live-action Disney movies are no stranger to controversy. When Beauty and the Beast came out, a small minority was up in arms at the connotation Josh Gad’s LeFou wanted a gay relationship with Gaston. Coupled with homosexual Luke Evans playing the muscular villain, angry parents slammed the movie as pushing the LGBTQ+ agenda.
More recently, Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin had two big scandals. As well as complaints Will Smith’s Genie wasn’t blue (he was in the final release), the studio was caught in a whitewashing debacle. Disney admitted it has put makeup on some of its stars to make them ‘darker’.
I’m already picturing a live-action Hercules remake and the bonfire that’s sure to follow. In case you haven’t noticed, the pale-skinned and ginger-haired Herc isn’t exactly your stereotypical Greek. To all those expecting to see Chloë Grace Moretz as Ariel, sorry, but looks like that ship has well and truly sailed.

[Featured Image: Disney]

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