Here's What Halle Bailey Had to Say About the Backlash Over Her Little Mermaid Casting
#NotMyAriel began trending shortly after news broke that the 19-year-old would be taking on the film's lead role.
It was announced early last month that singer-turned-actress Halle Bailey (of sister duo Chloe x Halle) had been cast as the titular role in Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid. The casting news caused a stir across the internet, with angry social media users ruling that Ariel had to be white in order to fall in line with Danish author Hans Christian Andersen’s original (which was fiction, FYI). Outrage escalated to the point that a #NotMyAriel campaign began trending across Twitter.
But despite the backlash, 19-year-old Bailey isn't letting the haters get her down."I don't pay attention to the negativity; I just feel like this role is something bigger than me," she told Variety at the outlet’s Power of Young Hollywood event in L.A. on Tuesday. “It's going to be beautiful,” Bailey continued, “I'm just so excited to be a part of it.”
As for the rest of the film’s star-studded cast, speculation abounds. Melissa McCarthy, Harry Styles, and Javier Bardem are all rumored to be joining the project (as Ursula, Prince Eric, and King Triton, respectively). Jacob Tremblay has reportedly signed on to play the role of Flounder, while Awkwafina has been linked to the role of Scuttle.