Little Mermaid’s Halle Bailey responds to racist backlash over role in Disney remake

‘I just feel like this role was something bigger than me, and greater,’ said the R&B star

Ellie Harrison
Thursday 08 August 2019 10:45
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Trailer for live-action adaptation of Disney's Mulan

Halle Bailey has responded to the backlash over her casting as Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid remake, saying: “I don’t pay attention to the negativity."

The R&B star, best known for performing in Chloe X Halle with her older sister, was announced as the new Ariel in July.

Her casting sparked a racist backlash online from people who complained that Bailey didn’t look like Disney’s original version of Ariel, who was drawn as white.

Responding to the criticism, Bailey said: “I feel like I’m dreaming and I’m just grateful and I don’t pay attention to the negativity.”

She told Variety: “I just feel like this role was something bigger than me, and greater, and it’s going to be beautiful and I’m just so excited to be a part of it.”

The original actor who voiced Ariel in the 1989 animated version of The Little Mermaid previously spoke out in support of Bailey, saying: “What you bring to the table in a character as far as their heart and their spirit is what really counts.”

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