When it was announced that Halle Bailey would be taking on the role of Ariel in Disney’s live-action version of The Little Mermaid there was a lot of backlash about the casting.
Unfortunately, the hashtag #NotMyAriel began trending mostly due to the fact that in the 1989 animated classic, Ariel is a fair-skinned redhead and Halle is African American.
While the horrible comments could have crushed the 19-year-old’s self-confidence, she’s instead proven she was 100 per cent the right person for the role with her response to it all.
Speaking to Variety about taking on the role she said, “I feel like I’m dreaming, and I’m just grateful and I don’t pay attention to the negativity. I just feel like this role is something bigger than me and greater and it’s going to be beautiful. I’m just so excited to be a part of it.”
It’s clear that playing Ariel means a huge deal to her and she knows the character is beloved by millions of people, but she’s ready for the responsibility that comes with the role.
According to ScreenRant, Bailey received some excellent advice from Diane Huey, the first non-white actress to play Ariel in the stage musical. She told the young actress to remember that more fans will be in her corner than not.
Halle Berry also tweeted the star after a lot of confusion that she would be playing Ariel:
We can’t wait until the film’s release so she can show those haters why she was cast.