Disney fans have been sent into a frenzy by the news that R&B singer Halle Bailey will play Ariel in the upcoming Little Mermaid live-action remake.
- 60 Disney films scheduled to release before 2028
- Disney accused of making a costume out of a culture
One half of the musical duo Chloe X Halle along with her sister, the 19-year-old nabbed the iconic role after what's been called an exhaustive casting process.
"It was abundantly clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance - plus a glorious singing voice - all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role," director Rob Marshall said in a statement.
Not everyone is as enthused about the choice, however, as some social media commentators took issue with Bailey's heritage.
"I don't want to be rude but Ariel was white," one Facebook comment on Buzzfeed's article read.
"This is dumb. What are they going to do, switch the race of every princess when it hits live action? The fact that this is a Danish story DOES mean a lot," another user argued, referencing the original fairy taile written by Hans Christian Andersen.
"The main character should be resembling the origins of the story."
Bailey also received an influx of support and encouragement about her new project, with many fans rushing to her's and Disney's defence.
"If y'all are upset about her not being white, y'all are gonna be real pissed when you find out she's not actually a mermaid," one comment read.
"Y'all were fine with Beyoncé playing a lion, Ian McKellen playing a clock-person and Will Smith playing a blue genie, but a black mermaid is too hard to believe?" said another.
According to Variety, Bailey will be joining a cast that includes Awkafina and Jacob Tremblay. Melissa McCarthy is reportedly in talks to play Ursula.