Halle Bailey Defended By Freeform Network Over “Little Mermaid” Backlash: Danish Mermaids Can Be Black, Because Danish People Can Be Black!
Freeform is standing with actress and singer Halle Bailey as she receives some backlash after being cast as Ariel in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. The network released a statement on social media.
“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 thus 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.”
The network also included the caption,
“An open letter to the Poor, Unfortunate Souls: #TheLittleMermaid #Ariel #MyAriel”
The statement is less than a week after Bailey excitedly confirm the news that she landed the lead role.
Bailey is a part of the Freeform family as she stars in its hit series Grownish.
Tara Strong, who voiced Ariel and Prince Eric in the animated sequel also showed her support.
The support comes amid criticism Bailey received after she expressed her excitement over landing the role.
Unfortunately, a petition was even started on change.org to remove Bailey as Ariel. It reads,
“Recently it has been announced that the very talented actress/singer, Halle Bailey, has been cast as Ariel in the Disney live action The Little Mermaid. While most of us are all for diversity and I’m sure she can sing and act the part, Ariel is ICONICALLY a red head. Why take this away from the fans?”
“Jasmine in the new live action Aladdin had to be cast as a true Middle Easterner, and the voices of the lions in the new Lion King HAD to be black. Why can Ariel not stay red headed, blue eyed white girl.”
“There’s nothing wrong with being proud to be ANY race. Black, white, Asian, Latino, etc. Just like Mulan is Asian with black hair and brown eyes, and HOPEFULLY Pocahontas is Native American. Ariel is our red headed princess. Little red headed white girls shouldn’t have to feel ashamed or jipped.”
“If you want a black princess, let’s do Princess and The Frog. I’m sure Halle would be great in it. But Ariel is white, red headed, and blue eyed.”
Bailey has stayed quiet during the backlash.
What do you think about the support and criticism Bailey has received? Tell us in the comments!