While the Black community and people with good sense celebrated the news of Halle Bailey being selected to play role of Ariel in The Little Mermaid, it also inspired a lot of racists to step forward and share their hate. They were sick about the fact that live-action Ariel was going to be a Black girl.
While Bailey has shared that she’s thrilled about the role, people wondered if she’d heard the criticisms from the naysayers. There was a Change.org petition, asking that Disney rescind their decision. On social media, there was a #NotMyAriel hashtag for people who felt strongly about the issue. There were even those who argued that casting Bailey as Ariel would remove representation for red-headed children. I guess no one considered the fact that Black folks can be red-headed as well.
It turns out that Bailey did hear the criticisms and she had a very classy, very appropriate and mature response. See what she had to say below.
In an interview with Variety, Bailey said, “I feel like I’m dreaming and I’m just grateful and I don’t pay attention to the negativity. I just feel like this role was something bigger than me, and greater. It’s going to be beautiful. I’m just so excited to be a part of it.”