Back at the start of last month it was announced that Grammy-nominated R&B artist Halle Bailey has been cast in the title role in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.
As is often the case when it comes to beloved characters, reaction to the casting was mixed, and sadly included a vocal minority who took to social media to protest the casting of a young black actress as Ariel, who – in the original animated movie – was depicted as white.
However, it seems that Bailey isn’t concerned by the #NotMyAriel backlash, telling Variety that: “I feel like I’m dreaming, and I’m just grateful, and I don’t pay attention to the negativity. I just feel like, you know, this role was something bigger than me and greater. And it’s gonna be beautiful. I’m just so excited to be a part of it.”
— Variety (@Variety) August 7, 2019
The Little Mermaid is being directed by Rob Marshall (Mary Poppins Returns) from a script by David Magee (Finding Neverland), and will see Bailey joined in the cast by elissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) as Ursula, Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians) as Scuttle, Jacob Tremblay (The Predator) as Flounder, and Javier Bardem (Everybody Knows) as King Triton.