Disney has recently announced Halle Bailey to portray as Ariel in The Little Mermaid Live Action Remake.
— Disney (@Disney) July 3, 2019
The singer-actress posted on her joint Instagram account with older sister Chloe an edited image from the animated film where Ariel has a darker skin complexion, brown eyes and black hair with the caption, “dream come true… #thelittlemermaid.”
The announcement has elicited mixed reactions from netizens. Some applaud Disney for their openness in diversity and in casting a woman of color for the lead role. Artists such as Nicki Minaj, Tori Kelly, Jordin Sparks, Chrissy Teigen, Ayesha Curry and many more have given their congratulations on the singer-actress’ Instagram post and expressed their joy in the casting decision.
Almost namesake Halle Berry congratulated and expressed her support to the singer-actress.
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
Even Jodi Benson, the voice actor behind Ariel for The Little Mermaid animated film in 1989 gave her two cents regarding the matter. Jodi said, “The most important thing is to tell the story. And we have, as a family, we have raised our children, and for ourselves, we don’t see anything that’s different on the outside.”
However, some people were not in favor of Disney’s decision in casting a black actress to play the role of the mermaid princess who was traditionally white (some argue that she’s Danish).
Some netizens even created the hashtag #NotMyAriel to amplify their disappointment of the choice of actress. They wanted the live action Ariel to look like the one they grew up watching in their tv screens.
Freeform, a television channel owned by Disney, has posted on its Instagram a rebuttal to those who are still “bitter” about the decision. The photo was accompanied by the caption that read (and the shade is real), “An open letter to the Poor, Unfortunate Souls: ——– #TheLittleMermaid #Ariel #MyAriel
Prior to her being casted as Ariel, she was already known for her talent in singing. Part of the duo Chloe x Halle, Halle and her older sister Chloe made a cover of Beyonce’s “Pretty Hurts” in 2015 and in a way became mentees of the singer and later on invited the duo to become her opening acts for her Lemonade Tour and On The Run II Tour.