Halle Bailey recalls ‘shock’ at seeing racist messages over ‘Little Mermaid’ role

Halle Bailey has addressed the racist remarks she received since landing the role of Ariel in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid.”

The Chlöe x Halle singer faced a slew of hateful comments from trolls over the casting for the film, which premieres May 26.

“Seeing the world’s reaction to it was definitely a shock,” she told Edition magazine.

“But seeing all the babies’ reactions, all the brown and Black young girls, really tore me up emotionally.”

The “Do It” hitmaker was hit with vile slurs from racist trolls online after announcing she was cast in the film in 2019.

The hateful comments kept coming in when the teaser was released in September.

Halle Bailey as Ariel
The 22-year-old announced she was cast as Ariel in 2019.
Photo courtesy of Disney.

But despite the hate she received, Bailey chose to focus on the heartwarming responses to the casting.

She soon began to notice videos featuring black children excitedly reacting to her first appearance as Ariel.

The actress also shared a video compilation of little girls becoming overjoyed discovering that the new Ariel “is brown like me.”

Halle Bailey
Bailey said “seeing the world’s reaction” to her landing the role of Ariel “was definitely a shock.”
Instagram/Halle Bailey

“People have been sending these reactions to me all weekend and I’m truly in awe this means the world to me,” Bailey wrote on Twitter in September.

Actress Jodi Benson — who voiced Ariel in the 1989 hit “The Little Mermaid” — publicly applauded Disney for casting the black singer in the live-action rendition of the film, saying “the most important thing is to tell the story.”

“We have, as a family, raised our children and for ourselves that we don’t see anything that’s different on the outside,” she continued.

“I think that the spirit of a character is what really matters. What you bring to the table in a character as far as their heart and their spirit is what really counts.”

“We need to be storytellers,” Benson went on. “And no matter what we look like on the outside, no matter our race, our nation, the color of our skin, our dialect, whether I’m tall or thin, whether I’m overweight or underweight, or my hair is whatever color, we really need to tell the story.”

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