Fans are getting increasingly excited for the April release of Disney+’s film Peter Pan & Wendy, which stars Yara Shahidi as the first Black Tinker Bell.
On March 15, the Grown-ish star fueled anticipation for the new film by posting a photo of herself holding a Mattel doll inspired by her as Tinker Bell to Instagram. Fans fawned over the doll in the comment section and expressed how meaningful it was to see a reflection of themselves in Shahidi’s Black Tinker Bell.
“Can you believe [it]? My very own wings covered in pixie dust🧚🏽♂️,” Shahidi captioned the photo. “I’m excited to share the Tinker Bell doll inspired by my character in #PeterPanAndWendy. She is so very special! 🧚🏽♂️ #Tinkerbell ✨ @mattel @disneypeterpan @disneyplus✨.”
“Gaaahhh! I can’t wait to get one for my daughter. I showed her a photo of you as Tinker Bell when she was in a funk about having curly hair. Seeing you instantly changed her mood,” Dressed In Joy Founder Mikaela Pabon wrote.
Instagram user Auriyawna wrote, “6 yr old me who dressed as Tinker Bell and got made fun of at school ‘She’s white why are you trying to be white’ is smiling right now.“
A fan commented, “NO im sorry. WHATTTTT!!! Our very very own Tinkerbell!! You make me BEAM with pride my girl🧚🏾♂️🌎“ and “My favorite fictional character!!!! Finally looks more like me❤️❤️❤️❤️.”
Other Instagram users simultaneously expressed joy over Shahidi’s role and singer Halle Bailey in the live-action version of The Little Mermaid.
Another person wrote, “I’m so excited we get a Black Tinker Bell and Little Mermaid!!!!!”
“You and Halle finna make me buy all these dolls😭😭,” user Taiidanii chimed in.
Some who goes by the username simply____jassy wrote, “First, The Little Mermaid, and now this. Omg, my daughter going to love this. When is it available for purchase?!”
“A Black Ariel AND a black Tinker Bell 2023 really popping off,’ another excited fan penned.
While many fans have welcomed Disney’s casting of more non-white actors for some of its most iconic characters, bigoted Disney fans have spewed racist remarks about the inclusive cast selections. Shahidi’s comment section included a quip that said, “Isn’t Tinker Bell supposed to be white and blonde?”
As MADAMENOIRE previously reported, The Little Mermaid‘s trailer got 1.5 million dislikes within days of it’s release and #NotMyAriel trended on Twitter.
Shahidi recently addressed the negativity she and Bailey have received while speaking with The Hollywood Reporter at the Los Angeles premiere of AppleTV+’s Extrapolations. The actress highlighted how special it feels giving underrepresented groups a bigger, more celebrated place in Disney’s universe.
“What’s been beautiful is seeing the response to both of our characters and seeing how many people feel included in this fairy tale while also maintaining the magic that we love in the first place,” Shahidi explained.
“I think, oftentimes. people think of diversity and inclusion as threatening or jeopardizing the quality of the story instead of seeing how beautifully they can be interwoven together to create something that impacts even more people. That lets even more people into stories that we love.”
Peter Pan & Wendy, the live-action reboot of Peter Pan, hits Disney+ on April 28.
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