In July 2019, Disney announced that R & B singer, Halle Bailey had been cast as “Ariel” in the upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, set to be directed by Rob Marshall. The role marks Bailey’s feature film debut, following the formation of her music group Chloe x Halle with her sister Chloe in 2015.
The news met some backlash from some who were upset by the deviation from the animated character’s image, the usual blue-eyed, with porcelain skin and bright red hair, as against now being played by a woman of color. However, the news was also met with a flood of praise from celebrities including Mariah Carey, Halle Berry and Chrissy Teigen, Yara Shahidi and many fans.
The 19-year-old’s casting marks the first time Disney has selected a woman of color to play a traditionally white princess in one of its live-action adaptations, NBC News reported.
“The Little Mermaid” will incorporate original songs from the 1989 animated hit as well as new tunes from original composer Alan Menken with lyrics by “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. Miranda is also producing the film along with Marshall, Marc Platt and John DeLuca.
Talk black Ariel, Talk diversity and inclusion, Way to go!