As #NotMyAriel Campaign Targets Halle Bailey, Disney-Owned Company Responds With Outrage

July 9, 2019

A Disney-owned television channel shared a letter urging the public to accept Halle Bailey as Ariel in the new live-action version of “The Little Mermaid” after social media users were critical of the casting choice. 

Freeform said in a letter posted to Instagram that the decision to have Bailey play Ariel was “inspired casting.” 

“The original author of ‘The Little Mermaid’ was Danish,” the channel wrote. “...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.” 

The letter was shared after the hashtag #NotMyAriel gained traction among fans who believed Disney should keep the look of its original movies the same in the live-action remakes. 

An open letter to the Poor, Unfortunate Souls: ______ #TheLittleMermaid #Ariel #MyAriel

A post shared by Freeform (@freeform) on

The rest of the cast isn’t known, though Terry Crews expressed his interest on Twitter and Melissa McCarthy is reportedly in talks to have a role. 

Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel in the original "The Little Mermaid," defended Bailey's casting, Comicbook reported.

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Related: Terry Crews Wants To Be King Triton in 'The Little Mermaid'