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Black singer and actress Halle Bailey was cast in Disney’s live action film ‘The Little Mermaid’, and the controversy continued. In the 1989 Disney animated film, Ariel had white skin and deep red hair.
Even after the trailer was released, the main character, Ariel in the original, is white, but became the focus of the topic, with various reactions such as criticizing why a black actor plays the role of the Mermaid Fach, ‘It suits you well’, and ‘It’s much better than I thought’. The trailer has been viewed more than 104 million times worldwide.
According to People after the trailer was released, a ‘blind reaction video’ where young black women watch the trailer without any prior knowledge and post their reactions via TikTok is popular and garnering a lot of attention. The children in the video reacted much more innocently and without embellishments. Among them, children cheered, “Is the real little mermaid black?” to tears of emotion.
In a reaction video from a girl that has been viewed more than 4 million times on Twitter and TikTok, a child is genuinely excited to see a live-action version of The Little Mermaid for the first time. When the girl’s mother says, “This is the new Ariel,” the girl asks, “Is this the real Ariel?”, unable to hide her emotions.
In a video uploaded by TikTok user ‘Working Mama’, which recorded more than 670,000 views, the girls watched the trailer without any information and when Halle Bailey appeared, “Are you a black mermaid?”, “Mum ! I did it,” he exclaimed happily.
In the video uploaded by another user ‘thewdad’, the three sisters are surprised to see the trailer. One child cheers and says, “Is Ariel black? Wow!” and says “I miss you right away.”
This is a moment that proves once again how important it is to show the different races and the different types of characters in the media.
Halle Bailey, who starred in the lead role, told People: “My role as the Little Mermaid means a lot to me. People who look like me, people of color, etc., can now see The Little Mermaid Mermaid from a new perspective. All black and a girl of color and I want to give the boys a new strength,” she said proudly and faced criticism.
“I know that if I had seen a little mermaid character like me in the media when I was young, my perspective on the world would have been different. That’s why I know how meaningful it is.”
Disney live-action film will be released on May 26, 2023.
Reporter Ahn Jung-yoon: firstname.lastname@example.org