‘The Little Mermaid’ Director Denies Racism Backlash In Casting Halley Bailey

The Director of the upcoming ‘The Little Mermaid’ adaption starring Halle Bailey defended casting a Black actress in the lead role in an Entertainment Tonight interview.

As most will likely recall, when Halle was announced to have landed the role of Ariel in the Disney film, there was a great deal of backlash from those who questioned why the studio decided to hire a person of colour when Ariel, the fictional animated character, was white in the 1989 classic and all of the sequels that followed.

Rob Marshall, the film’s director, has now angrily rejected that Disney may have had a motive in hiring a Black woman for the role, emphasizing that women of many ethnicities were considered for the position. “We just were looking for the best actor for the role, period. The end,” he announced.

“We saw everybody and every ethnicity. The goal was to find someone who can be incredibly strong, passionate, beautiful, smart, clever and with a great deal of fire and joy.” Rob stressed.

Rob went on to praise Halle for the way in which she embodied the character with her “ethereal” and “beautiful voice,” saying it beautifully “captures the heart of Prince Eric who looks for her the entire film.”

While Halle was ecstatic to learn she would be playing Ariel in the live-action film, her delight was swiftly dampened by the numerous comments from social media users who believed a white actress should have been cast instead.

In an interview with Variety in August, Halle discussed the controversy surrounding her casting and how she was able to overcome the harsh response she experienced as a result of the revelation.

“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,” She said during the Interview.

The film enters cinemas in May, 2023.

Halley Bailey is an American actress, singer, and composer. She is best known as one half of the musical duet Chloe x Halle, alongside her sister Chloe Bailey.

Having begun a career in acting at the age of 3, Bailey played minor acting roles in films such as Joyful Noise (2012), and the Disney television film Let It Shine (2012)

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A multihyphenate digital creator in Photography, Cinematography, Graphic Design, Web Design, and Animation.
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