Does ‘The Little Mermaid’ really have to be white?

Since the teaser trailer for Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” live-action film was released last week, it has garnered millions of views and a positive response from viewers.

Amid strong support for the film, however, audiences criticized Disney’s decision to cast Halle Bailey, a black singer and actress, as the film’s lead.

Showing off the mermaid. How are people using ‘science’ to justify what race Ariel would be?

Critics of Halle Bailey’s casting say they are upset because the 1989 portrayal of Ariel is white, but Bailey is black. He argues that the “original” Ariel was white and that the studio should not deviate from “tradition”.


Some critics cite science as their argument. In a now-deleted tweet, a Twitter user tried to argue that because Ariel lives in the ocean, she will be subject to less sunlight, meaning she will produce less melanin and therefore have lighter skin.

According to this user’s scientific argument, every sea creature should be white, but tropical fish come in many different colors, including the “ultra-black” viper fish, NBC News reported.

In an interview with Business Insider, folklorist Sasha Coward says mermaids are not biological creatures. He describes them as symbols present in many cultures, not just in Western folklore.

He argues that people are using bad science to justify their racism. He provides an example of scientific justification, saying, “As Ariel lives in a warm coral reef, its surrounding biota means that it is not of European origin. The white skin and bright red hair are also a dead gift to predators.” Will be.”

Cowardly reason, “With this in mind, the ariel is comparatively malnourished when looking at other aquatic mammals. A real mermaid would probably be a large tan-skinned creature with lots of blubber, hairless and smooth with paddle-like flippers!

With this logic, Coward claims, Ariel may also appear to be a manatee (of which Christopher Columbus observed three in 1493 and mistook them for a mermaid.)

If science is used to determine the folklore legitimacy of “The Little Mermaid”, it may also be recognizable that the friends of Ariel, animated in 1989, are a talking seagull, a flounder, and a crab (in which a striking Jamaican accent that may lend credibility to Ariel being black).

The real question is, if everything about Ariel’s story is fictional and/or mythical, why does her skin color matter?

When Does ‘The Little Mermaid’ Come Out?

Despite the criticism, positive support for the film and Halle Bailey’s casting outweighed the negative.

Upon the trailer’s release, people started posting their kids’ reactions to seeing Halle Bailey as Ariel, so much so that #littlemermaidliveaction was trending.

Excited fans will not have to wait much longer for the much-awaited remake. “The Little Mermaid” is slated for a theatrical release on May 26, 2023.

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