Halle Bailey Says Backlash To Her Little Mermaid Casting Is ‘Not Really A Shock Anymore’

Halle Bailey says the backlash to her casting in The Little Mermaid is 'not really a shock anymore'.
Credit: Alamy & Disney

Halle Bailey says the backlash to her casting in The Little Mermaid is ‘not really a shock anymore’.

Bailey, 22, is one half of the musical duo Chloe x Halle and throughout their career, they’ve earnt five Grammy nominations.

The star is now breaking out into acting and is set to star in the highly anticipated The Little Mermaid later this year.

However, she’s faced mixed responses since her casting was announced.

Watch the official trailer for The Little Mermaid below…

Many Disney fans were outraged when they found out Black actress Bailey would take on the role of Ariel.

Previously, the mermaid was depicted as white with bright red hair.

Following the teaser trailer debut, many viewers took to social media and called out the film for ‘race swapping’ the character.

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One person wrote: “So about the race-swapping Little Mermaid…if Disney wants diversity, why didn’t they just do a live-action [of] Princess and the Frog?”

Another added: “I always want new original stories instead of giving older stories and race swapping.”

While a third said: “Yes our fairytales do evolve with our time, but something about this race swapping is just giving ugly capitalism.”

Bailey is finally speaking out against the backlash and she says she’s been left unfazed by all of the drama.

In an interview with The Face, the ‘Ungodly Hour’ singer says: “As a Black person, you just expect it and it’s not really a shock anymore.

Halle Bailey in The Little Mermaid.
Halle Bailey says the backlash to her casting in The Little Mermaid is ‘not really a shock anymore’. Credit: Disney

“People don’t understand that when you’re Black there’s this whole other community. It’s so important for us to see ourselves.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Bailey says she was feeling ‘grateful’ and left ‘in disbelief’ after seeing little girls’ reactions to The Little Mermaid’s first trailer.

While Bailey may not have been surprised by the backlash to her casting in The Little Mermaid, the same can’t be said for her boyfriend, rapper DDG.

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Appearing on the Bootleg Kev Podcast, the singer said he ‘didn’t know people were this racist’.

He says: “She be laughing it off [but] they be going a little too hard. But I feel like the people is more attacking the character rather than her, personally.”

Despite the criticism, Bailey has previously told People magazine that playing the role of Ariel has ‘changed her life’.

She adds: “The whole experience of filming, in more ways than one, mirrored Ariel’s journey of finding herself and her voice.

“I remember at the end of filming, wrap day, I was just sobbing because I truly felt like I had come out of this cocoon with Ariel.”

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