The Little Mermaid’s Halle Bailey took a second this weekend to celebrate being cast as Ariel. The Internet lost its collective minds when the announcement was made public. All these months later, there is still some discussion about the choice to have a Black actress play the character. Bailey hasn’t shied away from the criticism and is set on delivering a good performance. Just last month she told Teen Vogue about the experience and sounded at peace with the situation. The trailer will make its way out at some point and this discourse will begin again.
"I feel like I'm dreaming, and I'm just grateful." Bailey previously told Variety. "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."
can’t believe this was a year ago today 😭❣️✨ https://t.co/UEEDwOzbyE— chloe x halle (@chloexhalle) July 4, 2020
For her part the original voice of Ariel supported the new actress. She contends that as long of the spirit of the character is fine, that’s all that matters.
“I think that the spirit of a character is what really matters." Jodi Benson said during a convention appearance. "What you bring to the table in a character as far as their heart, and their spirit, is what really counts. And the outside package — cause let’s face it, I’m really, really old — and so when I’m singing ‘Part of Your World,’ if you were to judge me on the way that I look on the outside, it might change the way that you interpret the song. But if you close your eyes, you can still hear the spirit of Ariel.”
“We need to be storytellers." Benson continued. “And no matter what we look like on the outside, no matter our race, our nation, the color of our skin, our dialect, whether I’m tall or thin, whether I’m overweight or underweight, or my hair is whatever color, we really need to tell the story. And that’s what we want to do, we want to make a connection to the audience. So I know for Disney that they have the heart of storytelling, that’s really what they’re trying to do. They want to communicate with all of us in the audience so that we can fall in love with the film again.”
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