Disney-owned cable network supports Halle Bailey’s Ariel casting amid backlash

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Halle Bailey, half of the sister duo Chloe x Halle, will next be going under the sea, starring as Ariel in the upcoming live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid. The casting choice has some on social media objecting to a black performer portraying the white, red-headed mermaid princess of the animated film. (Rebecca Cabage/Invision/AP)

A Disney-owned cable network has taken aim at critics who disagreed with the decision to cast Halle Bailey as Ariel in the upcoming adaption of The Little Mermaid.

The California-based network Freeform posted an open letter on Sunday in support of Bailey after some on social media used the hashtag #NotMyAriel to object to a black woman portraying the red-headed mermaid princess of the animated film. But the network says “Danish mermaids can be black because Danish *people* can be black.”

Bailey is half of the sister duo Chloe x Halle. She will star in the live-action version that will include songs from the 1989 animated Disney hit as well as new tunes from original composer Alan Menken and Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

So far the cast includes Jacob Tremblay, who is playing Flounder, Ariel’s best friend, and Awkwafina playing Scuttle, the seagull friend of the red-headed princess.  

Halle Bailey — half of the musical duo Chloe and Halle — has been named the new star of the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. Filming is expected to start next year, but the reaction to her casting is already in full swing. 2:03

SOURCE: CBC.ca

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