Yara Shahidi Weighs in on Halle Bailey’s The Little Mermaid Casting Controversy
R&B singer Halle Bailey already has a number one fan when it comes to her upcoming role as Ariel in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.
Speaking to E! News during Comic-Con 2019, Yara Shahidi shared her excitement over her Grown-ish co-star and friend’s casting. Naturally, when she found out the news about the ChloexHalle member, she explained she was beyond thrilled.
“I was so happy… the entire cast was,” the Black-ish star said with a huge smile on her face. “We have a cast group chat and I saw that somebody sent ‘Congratulations’ and I saw a little mermaid on it, the mermaid emoji, and so I immediately go online and I’m like, ‘What in the world.'”
Yara continued, “I think she couldn’t be more perfect. If you just listen to her voice, she’s an ethereal human. When you look at Halle’s voice and how she maneuvers, she already embodies the character and I can’t wait to see what she brings to it.”
In fact, when news broke about the R&B singer’s casting Yara shared a heartwarming tweet about her Grown-ish co-star.
“Princess Halle,” she began her post. “You have expanded the world of powerful princesses in so many ways and I am absolutely so excited for you to bring Ariel to life.”
While the 19-year-old singer received so much love, praise and positivity about playing Ariel, some expressed their dismay. However, Disney’s Freeform put the “Poor, Unfortunate Souls” in check.
“Yes. The original author of The Little Mermaid was Danish. Ariel…is a mermaid. She lives in an underwater kingdom in international waters and can legit swim wherever she wants (even though that often upsets King Triton, absolute zaddy),” their Instagram post stated.
Freeform continued its caption, “But for the sake of argument, let’s say that Ariel, too, is Danish. Danish mermaids can be black because Danish *people* can be black. Ariel can sneak up to the surface at any time with her pals Scuttle and the *ahem* Jamaican crab Sebastian (sorry, Flounder!) and keep that bronze base tight. Black Danish people, and this mer-folk, can also *genetically* (!!!) have red hair.”
By: Alyssa Morin
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