THE LITTLE MERMAID Star Halle Bailey Says A Black Mermaid Would Have "Changed Her Life" When She Was Younger

THE LITTLE MERMAID Star Halle Bailey Says A Black Mermaid Would Have "Changed Her Life" When She Was Younger

In a new interview, The Little Mermaid star Halle Bailey explains why getting the opportunity to play the iconic Disney Princess means so much to her...

By MarkCassidy - May 20, 2023 11:05 AM EST
Filed Under: Disney

When it was announced that Halle Bailey had landed the role of Ariel in Disney's The Little Mermaid live-action remake, the internet reacted in about as calm and reasonable a way as you'd expect... i.e., not in the slightest.

#NotMyAriel trended in no time, and Bailey received a lot of backlash from those who felt that irreparable damage had been done to their childhood because Ariel wasn't going to be played by a white woman with red hair.

It can't have been easy for a young, up-and-coming actress to deal with, but in a new interview with The Guardian, Bailey revealed that the negative response to her casting didn't really come as much of a surprise.

“I mean, yeah. The world we live in today, just being a black woman, you have a certain awareness that comes with life, in general. So I wasn’t very surprised or shocked.”

Bailey went on to speak about how important representation in these major blockbuster films is, noting that if she had a black mermaid to look up to when she was growing up, it would have made a big difference to her childhood.

“If I would have had a black mermaid, that would have been insane, that would have changed my whole perspective, my whole life, my confidence, my self-worth. You’re able to see a person who looks like you, when you’re young? Some people are just like, oh, it’s whatever, because they’ve had it their whole life. It’s nothing to them. But it’s so important.”

What do you guys make of Bailey's perspective? Drop us a comment down below.

The Little Mermaid is the beloved story of Ariel, a beautiful and spirited young mermaid with a thirst for adventure. The youngest of King Triton’s daughters, and the most defiant, Ariel longs to find out more about the world beyond the sea, and while visiting the surface, falls for the dashing Prince Eric.

While mermaids are forbidden to interact with humans, Ariel must follow her heart. She makes a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, which gives her a chance to experience life on land, but ultimately places her life – and her father’s crown – in jeopardy.

The movie is set to swim into theaters on May 26, 2023.

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