Nawt Muh Airiel!1
There has been lots of controversy about Disney's cast choice. Halle Bailey will be Ariel in The Little Mermaid remake and that made people outrage. I see nothing wrong with a black actress playing that role and let me tell why.
Notice these are my opinions only and I'm not forcing them on anyone. I love the original Little Mermaid like everyone else. It's just not my favorite movie like Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Aladdin.
But let's start.
"DA LITTLE MEMIAD IS DANSH FAIRTELA!1"
Yes, The Little Mermaid is Danish. Just because a Danish man wrote the book it doesn't mean it takes place in Denmark. Hans Christian Andersen never established where The Little Mermaid takes place. It could've had happened anywhere.
Aladdin was written by an Arabic man and yet it takes place in China.
It's never really told where Snow White takes place either, since it has many different variants all around the world.
"AIREL IS DANSH!1"
And it's, surprisingly enough, geographically inaccurate portrayal of Denmark and its oceans.
- There are no coral reels in Denmark. Temperature in North Ocean and Baltic Ocean is below 64° Fahrenheit (18° Celsius). Corals need water which are between 73° and 84° Fahrenheit (23°–29° Celsius), even 104° Fahrenheit (40° Celsius)!
- Flounder is a tropical fish (probably a royal angelfish) which don't live in Danish waters.
- Sebastian is a crab and not found in Danish waters.
- There are marine and freshwater fishes mixed together which is impossible. There are also species not seen in Denmark like blackfish (Tautoga onitis), ray (Batoidea) and blowfish (Tetraodontidae).
- Ariel and Flounder escape from a great white shark at the beginning of the movie, and guess what? Great white sharks aren't seen in Denmark naturally.
"BUTT SHE WUST BWAK IN DA BOK!1"
In the book
- She wasn't named Ariel.
- Her tongue was cut off by the Sea Witch who wasn't evil.
- Her walking ability hurt her like "if she's walking on sharp knives and bleeding constantly."
- She lost the Prince to someone else, since the Prince didn't see her first and thought the temple girl was the one who saved him from drowning.
- She was told by her sisters to murder the Prince that she can safe herself.
- She died on broken heart and turned into sea foam.
Mermaid's hair color was never established despite the fact in several illustrations it's always blonde which is a reason why people think that's what original mermaid looked like. Imagine if social media was a thing when the original Little Mermaid movie was produced, there would be lots of bitching and tantrums even then. "baww da marmads ahr is bwond nawt read nut mah mermiad!"
Disney took artistic freedoms when they made the original movie. Why can't they do the same again? Halle has acted in the movies like Let It Shine and Last Holiday. She can also sing. She wasn't cast for the movie soullessly for being black.
"MERAMDS CUNT BEE BWAK!1"
Mermaids don't exist, and there are many different mythologies with human-liked water creatures. Mama Wati or Mami Wati is very known in African folklore (and worshiped in the Caribbean Islands), and she is black. Disney also ALREADY had a black mermaid character BEFORE this whole controversy!
"DATS CUTLRUA ASPPORIATOHN!1"
Says the one who ignores cultural appropriation in "Under the Sea" musical number. Everything we do every day is cultural appropriation, and that is "Under the Sea" one example of bad cultural appropriation or good cultural appropriation shares opinions. Ones consider it as using Caribbean culture as an aesthetic for a white girl (people in Caribbean
actually do think that), others don't. I don't think it as a bad thing, but I understand why they think so. As a Finn, it doesn't matter if you use pieces of my culture as long as you respect it. For example don't mix Finns to Samis. We have our own separated cultures and traditions.
"BUTT AIREL WAS DE FISRT READHED DINSY PWINCESS!1"
"BUTT OR REPREPRENSATION!1"
There have been redheaded characters BEFORE Ariel like Little My from Moomins, Francesca from Mad Monster Party, Batgirl/Barbara Gordon, Poison Ivy/Pamela Isley, Tintin, Wilma Flinstone, Jane Jetson, Pippi Longstocking, Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo and Little Red-Haired Girl from Peanuts.
These Disney characters existed before The Little Mermaid was done, and they're all redheads.
- Honest John from Pinocchio (1940)
- Lampwick from Pinocchio (1940)
- Smitty from Dumbo (1941)
- Panchito Pistoles from The Three Caballeros (1944)
- Aracuan Bird from The Three Caballeros (1944) and Blame It on the Samba (1955)
- Grace Martin from The Martins and the Coys (1946)
- Vladimir from Peter and the Wolf (1946)
- Sasha from Peter and the Wolf (1946)
- Willie from Mickey and the Beanstalk (1947)
- Johnny Appleseed's Angel from Johnny Appleseed (1948)
- Jenny from Once Upon a Wintertime (1948)
- Katrina Van Tassel from The Adventures of Ichabold and Mr. Toadd (1949)
- Casey from Casey at the Bat (1946) and Casey Bats Again (1954)
- Slue-Foot Sue from Pecos Bill (1954)
- Cinderella from Cinderella (1950)
- Anastasia Tremaine from Cinderella (1950)
- Alice's Sister from Alice in Wonderland (1951)
- Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum from Alice in Wonderland (1951)
- The Carpenter from Alice in Wonderland (1951)
- King of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland (1951)
- Peter Pan from Peter Pan (1953)
- Anita from One-Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)
- Sir Ector from The Sword in the Stone (1963)
- Sir Kay from The Sword in the Stone (1963)
- Robin Hood from Robin Hood (1973)
- Maid Marian from Robin Hood (1973)
- King Richard from Robin Hood (1973)
- Prince John from Robin Hood (1973)
- Madame Medusa from The Rescuers (1977)
- Taran from The Black Cauldron (1985)
- Jenny from Oliver and Company (1988)
Don't complain about your representation being taken away when you're hypocritically alright with that one of the redheads is turned into Aryan. Stay in your shoes. You can always stuck with the original if remakes aren't your thing.
"CUHRATERS MTS LOK LIEK TER CANNON CONR PATS!1"
Have you ever seen Disney Princess franchise? It has taken liberties as well.
- Aurora has a pink dress not a blue dress.
- Merida's dress is more sparkly and girly than it's in the movie.
- Ariel's dress is nowadays green and not pink.
- Not only Cindy's hair color is different, but also her dress is blue instead of white.
- Outfits of Jasmine and Pocahontas are nowadays less sexualized and more kid-friendly.
Even in Tangled TV series Rapunzel has a long blonde hair, even though she should have a short brown hair she had in the end of the movie.
How old are you, 3 000 or something? No one had persecuted redheads for decades. Yeah, redheads get bullied and discriminated against even today, but there's not systematic killings of redheads reported anywhere.
"BUTT DATS RASIT!1"
Did the people who cast Halle Bailey as Ariel say they specifically hate white people or redheads? No. They're even relocating the movie to happen somewhere else and give it a different vibe so the black actress is a right choice for that.
There are some medias where racebending doens't make sense, for example Hamilton. Not only it's disrespecting the dead with blackwashing the Founding Fathers but also with doing that it's erasing the fact slavery and racism existed in America. If Lin-Manuel Miranda wanted to have black representation so desperately, why didn't he just write a musical about William Lee or Phillis Wheatley? James Armistead? Elizabeth Freeman? There were many great black people in history who don't get as much attention as they should. I mean, I would be interested to hear about the war in slaves' eyes. I would actually pay to see that!
Redheads aren't only characters who get racebent.
Abra Stone from Doctor Sleep got racebent from a white blonde into a black girl, because the people behind the movie wanted to make a rupture between the book and the movie. It has taken several artistic freedoms it would work as a sequel to Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, even the ending isn't the same. If you haven't read the book or seen the movie, I don't spoil anything.
Original Nick Fury was a brunette and nowadays he is black. Racebend was done, because barely no one remembers or knows what original Nick Fury looked like and since there was racism during the WWI and WWII, it makes his character multiverse and relatable.
"DAT INSLUTS CRTORS OF DA OIRGINAL MOIVE!1"
No, it doesn't. It's done by the same company and same people, if they're even there anymore.
Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel, is defending Halle Bailey and her role as Ariel from racist haters. Yes, I actually saw a mean-spirited parody art with a blackface. And she also faces harassment.
Besides, Diana Huey, a Japanese American woman, played Ariel in Broadway musical version of The Little Mermaid. She also faced backlash for being cast for the role and was defended by Sierra Boggess who also played Ariel in Broadway.
For now I'm giving this remake a change. I don't know is it going to be good like Aladdin remake or suck like Mulan remake. When the movie comes out, I'll judge it from how it's written not for the actress' skin color.