The Disney-owned cable channel defends the tapping of Beyonce’s protege as the sea princess for the upcoming live-action reboot, claiming that ‘Danish mermaids can be black because Danish *people* can be black.’
Freeform has weighed in on the criticisms over the casting of Halle Bailey as the title character in “The Little Mermaid (2020)“. While the parent company Disney, which owns the cable channel as well as Walt Disney Pictures, has not responded to the uproar, the network has decided to shut down the haters.
The network took to its official Instagram account on Saturday, July 6 to share a lengthy message to those critics. Addressing the open letter to “Unfortunate Souls” who slammed the casting, Freeform began its post, “Yes. The original author of The Little Mermaid was Danish. Ariel…is a mermaid. She lives in an underwater kingdom in international waters and can legit swim wherever she wants (even though that often upsets King Triton, absolute zaddy).”
“But for the sake of argument, let’s say that Ariel, too, is Danish. Danish mermaids can be black because Danish *people* can be black. Ariel can sneak up to the surface at any time with her pals Scuttle and the *ahem* Jamaican crab Sebastian (sorry, Flounder!) and keep that bronze base tight. Black Danish people, and this mer-folk, can also *genetically* (!!!) have red hair,” it explained.
It went on arguing, “But spoiler alert – bring it back to the top – the character of Ariel is a work of fiction. So after all this is said and done, and you still cannot get past the idea that choosing the incredible, sensational, highly-talented, gorgeous Halle Bailey is anything other than the INSPIRED casting that it is because she ‘doesn’t look like the cartoon one,’ oh boy, do I have some news for you…about you.”
Rob Marshall, who will direct the upcoming live-action reboot of Disney’s 1989 animated classic, announced Bailey’s casting last week. “After an extensive search, 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,” he said in a statement.
While the news was met with backlash from some fans of the famous tale, many have also sounded their support for Bailey playing the sea princess. Those who have came up with positive responses on social media included celebrities like Chrissy Teigen, Halle Berry, Nicki Minaj, Ayesha Curry, Jordin Sparks and Willow Smith.