Donald Glover Defends Halle Bailey Amid The Little Mermaid Backlash


Actor-producer-writer-director-artist Donald Glover (AKA Childish Gambino) has leapt to the defense of Halle Bailey, Disney’s newfound Little Mermaid.

Bailey landed the role of Ariel precisely one week ago and suffice it to say, online opinion is split. While the vast majority of people seem to have welcomed the decision, there are some who believe Disney is pushing forced diversity in its live-action films to offset the fear of franchise fatigue.

Whatever side of the fence you find yourself on – or even if you’re perched somewhere in between – one thing is immediately clear: Bailey is a stellar choice for the role of Ariel, and possesses that “rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance,” according to director Rob Marshall.

But in light of the backlash, Donald Glover himself has spoken out in defense of Halle Bailey, telling E! News the following:

I thought that was so special. We were just watching that film and I’m like, that’s such a great story but I’m just like, I dunno, I just hope that she’s like having fun and don’t let anybody make you feel the opposite of how you want to feel. It’s a very special role and you earned it, so I hope you’re listening.

Casting on this live-action Little Mermaid movie is officially underway, and the Internet has wasted no time in nominating Terry Crews and Idris Elba as two potential candidates for the role of King Triton. Who wins? Time will tell, but make no mistake, Halle Bailey is our new Ariel.

The Little Mermaid will likely swim into theaters sometime within the next two years. Closer to home, and Donald Glover will be seen – or heard, rather – in Disney’s live-action Lion King movie. And word is Jon Favreau and his team have truly knocked this one out of the park.