THE LITTLE MERMAID Star Halle Bailey Hits Back At Racist Trolls: "As A Black Person, You Just Expect It"

THE LITTLE MERMAID Star Halle Bailey Hits Back At Racist Trolls: "As A Black Person, You Just Expect It"

The Little Mermaid star Halle Bailey has hit back at the racist trolls angered by her casting, revealing why it doesn't shock her while sharing a wholesome response to the nicer side of Disney fandom.

By JoshWilding - Feb 23, 2023 11:02 AM EST
Filed Under: Movies
Source: The Face

When it was revealed that Halle Bailey had been cast as Ariel in Disney's live-action reimagining of The Little Mermaid, the backlash was immediate and vocal. Almost all of that came from racists who were incensed Disney had dared cast a Black actress as a cartoon character, something we're sure must have been hard for Bailey to contend with. 

During a recent interview with The Face, the singer and actress made it clear it's all water off a duck's mermaid's back to her and, no matter how vocal the trolls are, she's not sweating it. 

"As a Black person, you just expect it and it's not really a shock anymore," Bailey says. ​"When [Chlöe and I] first signed to Parkwood, [Beyoncé] was always like: ​'I never read my comments. Don't ever read the comments.' Honestly, when the teaser came out, I was at the D23 Expo and I was so happy. I didn't see any of the negativity."

"I know people are like: ​'It's not about race.' But now that I'm her...People don't understand that when you're Black there's this whole other community," she continues. "It's so important for us to see ourselves."

That really hit home for Bailey when, in contrast to all that racist abuse, she saw videos of Black parents capturing their children's reactions to the first trailer. "I was crying all night for two days, just staring at them in disbelief. It makes me feel more grateful for where I am."

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 Little Mermaid also stars Daveed Diggs as the voice of Sebastian; Jacob Tremblay as the voice of Flounder; Awkwafina as the voice of Scuttle; Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric; Art Malik as Sir Grimsby; Noma Dumezweni as Queen Selina; with Javier Bardemas King Triton; and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula.

The Little Mermaid swims into theaters on May 26, 2023.

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