Freeform Responds To "The Little Mermaid" Controversy

Freeform Responds To

Disney last week officially announced that Bailey would be stepping into the iconic mermaid role, which was met with both overwhelming praise and heavy criticism on social media - the latter bothered that Ariel would not be played by a natural Danish redhead. She and her sister gained popularity with their YouTube covers and were signed to Beyoncé's Parkwood Entertainment music label.

After refuting racist Twitter's claims in their well-constructed rebuttal, Freeform reminded everyone that the story of The Little Mermaid is simply a work of fiction, further proving why the Grown-ish star's casting isn't the least bit problematic.

Taking us back under the sea with a live-action adaptation, Disney has found its new Ariel in singer-actress Halle Bailey.

Since Bailey is musically gifted and possesses the rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, and innocence, there should have no question as to why she landed the role. All the controversy stems from the fact that in the classic animated tale, Ariel is depicted as white, and Berry is, in fact, Black. But suggesting a fictional mermaid can't be a black girl with locs is as ridiculous as suggesting Santa Claus, Rue from The Hunger Games, James Bond, or Spider-Man must be white.

Actor and TV personality Terry Crews has urged film bosses at Disney to cast him as King Triton in the upcoming The Little Mermaid revamp. "She lives in an underwater kingdom in global waters and can legit swim wherever she wants."For the sake of the online arguments from a certain segment of Little Mermaid fans, the post followed the assumption that Ariel is actually Danish".

"Danish mermaids can be black because Danish *people* can be black", the letter continued. Black Danish people can also genetically have red hair.

The Little Mermaid remake will be directed by Rob Marshall (Into the Woods), with Awkwafina also coming aboard to voice Scuttle, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula. Finally, it ends with something for the people who are still stuck on how Bailey looks to reflect on - namely, what their opposition to her casting says about them.

But take a listen to Jodi Benson, then in her late 20s, singing "Part of Your World" in the original film.



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