Tina Knowles-Lawson & Her Husband Richard Lawson Speak Out In Support Of Halle Bailey Amid The Backlash She’s Received For Being The First Black Woman To Play ‘The Little Mermaid’
Tina Knowles-Lawson and her husband Richard Lawson have shared their thoughts on the racist backlash Halle Bailey has received for her starring role in the upcoming film “The Little Mermaid.”
During a recent interview, businesswoman Tina Knowles-Lawson and Richard Lawson were asked what they think about the racist criticism Halle Bailey has faced for being the first black woman to play the fictional Disney character Ariel.
The interviewer also asked the pair what message they would like to put out there to reach other women like the 22-year-old and other black women. Richard Lawson said,
“This is why the film is so important because we’re 400 years into this struggle if you will. And I think one of things that’s important for me is for us as black people to take responsibility for our own selves and our own direction and shape our own future.”
“Which means that the images that we put out there are not going to be liked by most of those people who are on the far right. So I expect that, you expect to hear that and that has to fall off your back like water off of a duck. We have to be responsible and put it out there and let it effect the people in a positive way that it’s going to effect, and turn a blind-eye to the others.”
Tina Knowles-Lawson, mother to superstars Beyoncé and Solange, spoke on the musical film controversy and her personal conversations with Halle Bailey — who is signed to Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment. Tina shared,
“Just that whole experience is first of all very disappointing that that is a reaction because she is beautiful, has a voice of an Angel, and why could she not be Ariel? And she said that even in her own mind she thought ‘Oh, God. I’m not footing the bill,’ but once she got into the character she realized that she could kind of transform that attitude that one race owns — it’s a fairytale. And all of our kids look at it too. I’m really happy to see that and I just have decided that I would not listen to the negative noise.”
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As previously reported, Halle spoke on the hate she’s gotten since the film’s trailer release. The singer/actress opened up about her starring role in the live-action remake of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” She said,
“I want the little girl in me and the little girls just like me who are watching to know that they’re special, and that they should be a princess in every single way. There’s no reason that they shouldn’t be. That reassurance was something that I needed.”
Halle then shared that her older sister Chloe Bailey and her family helped her get through the unwarranted backlash she received when she was cast in the Disney project. “#NotMyAriel” hashtag reportedly trended on Twitter the day her casting was announced. Halle continued,
“It’s important to have a strong support system around you. It’s hard to carry the weight of the world on your own.”
Thankfully, Halle’s grandparents gave her a different way of looking at it, explaining how monumental her casting is and how much it will do for the Black community. She added,
“It was an inspiring and beautiful thing to hear their words of encouragement, telling me, ‘You don’t understand what this is doing for us, for our community, for all the little Black and brown girls who are going to see themselves in you.’”
“The Little Mermaid” is set to be released on May 26, 2023!
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