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.