Disney Gets Chided For ‘Blackwashing’ After Casting Actress Of Color As ‘Ariel’
By Izza Sofia, 10 Jul 2019
Left image via Disney, right image via JStone / Shutterstock.com
Disney has chosen R&B singer Halle Bailey to play the role of ‘Ariel’ in the upcoming live-action reboot of The Little Mermaid, but not everyone approves of the decision.
Following the announcement that a person of color was cast to play the mermaid, some social media users have expressed their outrage, accusing Disney of “blackwashing.” They have also made their disdain known with a ‘#NotMyAriel’ hashtag.
Bailey, who rose to stardom after being signed under pop queen Beyoncé, said playing ‘Ariel’ was a “dream come true.” She took to Twitter to share an edited image of the mermaid with darker skin and black hair, a departure from the character’s red tresses.
According to director Rob Marshall, the team decided to cast Bailey after “an extensive search,” and Bailey seems to be the perfect fit as she is a combination of “spirit, heart, youth and innocence.” Plus, she has a great singing voice.
In spite of these, people are still unhappy about the mermaid no longer being depicted as white. “Blackwashing is as bad as whitewashing,” one critic writes.
Nevertheless, some have decided to poke fun at the situation, reminding that mermaids are fictional, after all, and can be played by anybody.
dream come true... 🧜🏽♀️🌊 pic.twitter.com/sndjYUS6wO— chloe x halle (@chloexhalle) July 3, 2019
Why are people only discussing the race of Halle Bailey and not looking at anything else? I was amazed at how remarkably similar her facial proportions are to Ariel. Same sized lips, same distance between eyes, same distance between mouth and nose... #notmyariel is ridiculous pic.twitter.com/5AtqHOGEro— Яeyna (@Hey_Its_Rey_) July 5, 2019
So are y’all mad about Jason Momoa (who is Hawaiian and brunette) playing Aquaman even though the character was originally written as a blonde Caucasian? No? Then shut up about Halle Bailey playing Ariel and this #NotMyAriel garbage. Diversity is key people. Get on board. pic.twitter.com/DmDKivAQyF— Tay (@taylorwatts1919) July 6, 2019
#NotMyAriel blackwashing is as bad as whitewashing— magetthedogs (@magetthedogs) July 4, 2019
I'm offended by the casting of a woman of colour as Ariel.— ZUBY: (@ZubyMusic) July 5, 2019
They should have used an ACTUAL, real mermaid.
Sick and tired of this human privilege.#NotMyAriel
There is really a whole #notmyariel hashtag because the character is being played by a black woman in the live action movie. People. I could go on about the number of white actors previously cast as black/ethnic characters but please consider this; she is a FISH. pic.twitter.com/Ew4oMRo7cR— Noor (@noorperacha) July 4, 2019
My thing with these dumb ass people saying #Notmyariel is y’all already have a live action little mermaid with a white leading female. Why is it so difficult for little black girls and boys to have a mermaid that they can relate to. pic.twitter.com/8jhAyOds0R— MissJay (@xlJaylx) July 5, 2019
[via SBS, opening image via Disney, JStone / Shutterstock.com]
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