HomeDisneyHalle Bailey Opens Up About ‘The Little Mermaid’ Racist Backlash

Halle Bailey Opens Up About ‘The Little Mermaid’ Racist Backlash

Holly Bailey is making history as the first black actress to be cast as Ariel in Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid. The news has been met with both excitement and backlash from people all over the world. In a new cover story for The Face, Bailey opened up about the negative reactions she received and the importance of representation for black and brown children.

Halle Bailey Opens Up About Racist Backlash

Bailey credits her mentor Beyonce for offering sound advice to her and her sister Chloe Bailey when they first signed to Parkwood. She also shared that she was grateful to have been at the D23 Expo when the teaser was released, as she was spared from seeing any of the negativity.

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The teaser showed children, many of who were young black girls, responding to the footage for the first time. Bailey said that seeing their reactions made her feel more grateful for where she is. She also shared that it was important for her to represent those young boys and girls, as it would have changed her perspective on life if she had seen someone like her when she was younger.

Bailey was flooded with texts from friends and family who were sending her reaction videos on social media after the teaser debuted. She said that it was an emotional experience for her, and that she was crying for two days just staring at them in disbelief.

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The news of Bailey’s casting has been a huge milestone for representation in Hollywood, and she is an inspiration to many. She has shown that it’s possible for black and brown children to see themselves in leading roles, and that it can have a huge impact on their lives. For more details on this story, head to THR.com and for the latest entertainment news and updates, keep watching The Hollywood Reporter News.

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41 COMMENTS

  1. Black washing a character to play identity politics and then calling the backlash racism is just pathetic.
    And screaming racism when your pathetic plan does work…isn’t going to help you.

  2. How sad and pathetic is your life that you typically expect racism based off your skin, when the society you live in has made such tremendous strides to correct that error. If America is so racist, how come she is a celebrity?

  3. I can see the self made bomb and self inflicted wound for Disney on this one months in advance from a different country. The Disney Magic is dying so fast at this point its almost impossible to keep up with it all.

  4. There is a misconception when someone doesn't like "woke" movies/TV.

    You seem to think it is because of the character is non-white, female, or the movie/TV is diverse in cast.

    That is NOT the case.

    1. Females are written as Mary Sues

    2. Males are written as pathetic strawmen

    3. White people are written as racist strawmen

    4. Too much of the single-direction race swap.

  5. I'm confused. How are the people who don't agree with this racist but Disney who intentionally race swapped is not racist? This war on white people has to stop. Before everyone thinks this has something to do with hating black people I want to remind everyone of the horrible backlash the Sonic the hedgehog movie got before release of the way Sonic was originally animated. It was so bad they had to redo it.

  6. TRADITION IS PEER PRESSURE FROM DEAD PEOPLE, so yes traditionally all Disney princesses had white skin, and don’t you dare say Pocahontas, because that story alone brings us to how this country was and is still going (if you picking up what I’m putting down) so now Ariel looks like she should’ve would’ve originally looked if we were all equally included back in the day but Black People weren’t so here we are. We Win. Happy Black History Month✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿

  7. As horrendous as it is to see racist trolls screaming the N-word at you in your DMs, when you're an actor, you learn to become numb to it very quickly. You may not like it, and I may not like it, but it unfortunately comes with the job. That does not mean you should throw in the towel, because at the end of the day, those kinds of people's nasty comments don't count because they are mere haters rather than real fans. People who aren't real appreciators are the last people who should deter you from pursuing the roles you want to pursue, and I'm saying this as a person of color myself.

  8. It's not that people dislike Black representation. It's that Hollywood is deliberately selling "Black washing" as a marketing gimmick. If you were honest about Black representation you would want more movies like Nope or Black Klansman instead of just replacing European literature and inserting a Black actor for the sake of representation. We want Black stories told, not just race swapping.

  9. They race swap Ariel, they made a doll line of their princesses as African women, they are also planning to make a movie with a braided latina princess. Disney would do anything but creating an original African Princess.

  10. Ariel is white, pure and simple, not a little black girl. Blacks can not invent their own characters they have to cop out and take on ones that already exist, sickening that a black is now playing all,the Disney characters. Disney is just a woke joke of an enterprise. Hey blacks, go invent your own characters, gross.

  11. It's not about race. It's just not right to cast someone who isn't fair in complexion to portray the Little Mermaid. Because thats how she truly is. A cast with a darker complexion messes with the entire identity of the character.
    Very disappointed with this so-called "black quota" culture in Hollywood. If they want to hand black actors more roles, why not create a new one for them?

  12. This really has nothing to do with racism. It's AGAIN taking a character that is white and replacing it with a black actor. Redefining the character instead of creating a new character. Black people will use the race bait excuse but black people would be very upset if a black character was replaced with a white person. So it's a two way street. And to take advice from Beyonce who pumps her fists in the air. A woman who is a multi-millionnaire and successful. LOL.

  13. What is her words on those that upset about her destroying their childhood image?

    USA citizen is only 160million. Black is only 14% of that. Making it roughly 0.5% of Global Population and more than half that doesn't support Black Ariel.

    But Disney is Global Enterprise and Ariel is presented as WHITE with RED HAIR for last 3 decade across the globe.
    While world population is 8 billion.

    Ariel is 30yrs old more or less…. with 99.5% of Global Population that don't support Black Ariel.
    That's a lot of people childhood you just F0CKED UP.

    If only they make a new kingdom, a new BLACK MERMAID…
    None of this race craps would've been an issue…

    They sure know how to rub the salted in an almost healed-wounds.
    If you keep opening the wounds, over & over again, it will never healed.
    Racism can only be dead, when you stop making it obvious.

  14. Beyonce is low key extremely racist.

    After I see her video with sister chasing after the fight in elevator with Jz.

    There was one(White) guest who trying to stop her sister… and Beyonce talked to her in a very bad racist tone.

    After that, I lost all respect for her… and stop listening to her songs since then.

    To be honest, that is not even half of Mariah Carey. The only reason Beyonce got to this point it's because Hollywood try to push the race agenda.
    If one were to judge by Skills, Beyonce is not remotely close to JLO's level of skill… let alone to be compare to Mariah or Celine.

    Her dancing can't even properly compete with Christina Aguilera, let alone Britney Spears.
    And her singer is not even remotely beating her Disney Child members…

    Even Mariah rolled her eyes everytime Beyonce get an award. Celine just laugh… and shrugged her shoulders.

  15. She doesn't care now. But she better hope and pray this movie does well. Cause If It doesn't, her career might take its toll. Then where's her high spirit of oh I don't care about all the negativity and the haters. I just care about being a positive role model.

  16. I'm white and I like the new Ariel. People judge to early just like when Will Smith was going to play the Ginie in Aladdin. People should except the changes that come in remakes. I can't wait to see the film.

  17. '''''''''''''''''Racist Backlash'''''''''''''''''' meaning people complaining about them being the racists ones, for changing a character's race based solely on a premise of representation and diversity, in this case based on race; that, my friends, is racist and no justification won't make it otherwise. I wonder if we would get someday a white little mermaid but with Down Syndrome, that would really be progressive!

  18. Right. It has nothing to do with the subpar effects or the fact that it's going to be YET ANOTHER soulless cashgrab reboot of a beloved animated film.
    Nope, just racism. That's the only problem. Nothing else.
    I'm sure that's what they told themselves after everyone complained about that Pinocchio reboot last year, too…

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