Next week, Disney is about to make it three-for-three with live-action reboots in 2019.
First we had Tim Burton’s Dumbo, before Guy Ritchie and his team slapped a new lick of paint on Aladdin and its beloved story. Both films performed relatively well at the global box office, but they’ll likely pale in comparison to The Lion King, Jon Favreau’s star-studded reimagining that looks set to reign over theaters for weeks – if not months – to come.
And it seems the Mouse House currently has no intention of taking the foot off the pedal anytime soon, what with Mulan already scheduled for early 2020. After that? The Little Mermaid, which recently cast the up-and-coming Halle Bailey in the role of Ariel, the rebellious daughter of King Triton who longs to live on dry land.
It’s admittedly kicked up quite the fuss online, with the likes of Donald Glover and Spider-Man: Far From Home‘s Zendaya all leaping to the defense of Bailey, who has been forced to watch a #NotMyAriel campaign materialize before her very eyes. Suffice it to say, the Internet is divided.
Via AZ Central, here are just a few of the Tweets that’ve surfaced:
“Girl pls some of us grew up with no representation/diversity at all. Imma need yall to chill with the #NotMyAriel tweets and get with the times. It’s 2019 and anyone can be a princess.”
“There is really a whole #notmyariel hashtag because the character is being played by a black woman in the live action movie,” one person said on Twitter. “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.”
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There’s no doubting Bailey’s talent, but there are those who believe Disney is pushing forced diversity in its live-action movies. Then again, Ariel is a mythical fish and doesn’t really belong to any one ethnic group.
Here’s one more reaction that surfaced via Twitter:
I notice people saying.. “Now if they cast Tiana white..” that’s literally the only princess you can say…. because that’s the only princess “we” have. Versus……. how many?
The Little Mermaid has only just begun its casting spree, with Melissa McCarthy, Jacob Tremblay, and Awkwafina all said to be in contention for the project. And if the Internet has its way, either Idris Elba or Terry Crews will soon be joining that ensemble.