Disney Casts First Black Princess for Live Action Remake of The Little Mermaid
The world has finally been told who plays Ariel in the upcoming live action remake of the Disney cartoon classic The Little Mermaid; Chloe x Halle member, Halle Bailey.
Director Rob Marshall revealed that the casting team had met with lots of talent but Bailey had been the front runner.
“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,” Marshall said in a statement.
So far the confirmed cast members are Awkwafina (Ocean’s 8) and Jacob Tremblay (Room). Melissa McCarthy is in talks to play the film’s villain Ursula.
Fans had previously thought Zendaya was going to take the main role but the singer/actress debunked those rumours on Twitter.
Bailey- who also stars in Grown-ish- formed her musical duo with her sister back in 2015. Her casting has caused widespread reaction with only a fringe group of purist, if not outright racist Twitter users objecting the idea of a black mermaid.
A significant number of other users were confused as to why Halle Berry had been cast as Ariel. But the actress took it all in stride, congratulating her namesake in a tweet depicting an animated black little mermaid.
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
As a white-skinned redhead, I have very strong feelings about #TheLittleMermaid. Ariel changed my ginger world. The mean "jokes" ended. I became envied for my hair.
And you know what? I want little black girls to experience that same feeling with new Ariel. 👑
— Morgan Jarrett (@msmorganjarrett) July 3, 2019
The casting of Bailey as Ariel meant a lot to people of colour.
We’re getting a beautiful black mermaid for the Little Mermaid live action movie. Do you understand how much of an impact this will make for little black girls to see a fantasy of themselves on screen? A black mermaid! I could cry! 😭💕 #HalleBailey #LittleMermaid pic.twitter.com/7CMbOOV4G5
— Moon Princess 🌙✨ (@RheaMorris_) July 3, 2019
Guys, chill out!! #TheLittleMermaid was never about #Ariel’s skin or hair colour!! It was all about her voice!! Do tell me if #HalleBailey was not meant to play this role all along! @chloexhalle @DisneyStudiosLA I’m so looking forward to this!! pic.twitter.com/5f7rzTjvGQ
— Alfredo Calderón (@acalderon_20) July 4, 2019
beyoncé as nala, halle as ariel, rihanna has a fashion house, lil nas went 3x platinum, zendaya on euphoria, lizzo holding it down the big girls… my people, BLACK people are flipping the table, busting down doors, and i can’t wait to add my name to the list. what a time!
— justus steele (@justusteele) July 3, 2019