Halle Berry backs Disney's move to cast Halle Bailey in 'The Little Mermaid' even as #NotMyAriel trends on Twitter
Following Disney’s recent announcement of casting R&B singer Halle Bailey as Ariel in its latest reboot of the classic 'The Little Mermaid', a lot of people expressed strong opinions on Disney’s decision
Disney's latest reboot 'The Little Mermaid' drew a lot of speculation from fans as to who would play the coveted role of Ariel. The guesses ranged from Emma Watson to Zendaya. However, on July 3, Disney announced that singer Halle Bailey has landed the part of Ariel.
Halle Bailey, one-half of the R&B sister duo Chloe x Halle, rose to fame after Beyonce discovered them on YouTube. The pair then went on to sign a record deal with Parkwood Entertainment and also do the opening act for Beyonce's 'Lemonade' tour. 'Little Mermaid' isn't Bailey's first stint before the camera as she also stars as one of the main characters on the popular show 'Grown-ish'. Disney's 'Little Mermaid' will mark her entry into full-length feature films.
Rob Marshell, who will be directing the movie, spent the last few months scouting for talent to play the role of Ariel, and said, "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."
Despite the best intentions of Disney, the decision to cast a "black girl" as Ariel hasn't gone down well with many people. On July 4, the trending topic on Twitter was #NotMyAriel. Many were seen commenting about how Bailey looks different compared to the character people associate with 'Little Mermaid' (a light-skinned, red-haired, blue-eyed girl). As shown in Disney's iconic animated version.
A Twitter user commented, "I am FUMING that they cast Halle Bailey as Ariel for the live action little mermaid. She was the only original Disney Princess with red hair like me when I was young." Another user wrote, "I want Ariel to be white... no hate to my skin or nth... But that's how I've seen her since I was born.. white girl, red hair, green tail... this must be a joke!"
Black people on Twitter, meanwhile, celebrated the bold decision of Disney. Several celebrities also came forward to congratulate Bailey on her recent achievement, including actress Halle Berry, the first black actress to win the Academy Award for Best 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
Zendaya also took to Twitter to congratulate Bailey on landing the role, which she was earlier rumored to have been in the race for. Disney is confident about their decision to cast Bailey and will begin filming soon.