Singer/actor Halle Bailey cast as Ariel in Disney’s live-action remake of ‘The Little Mermaid’

Singer/actor Halle Bailey cast as Ariel in Disney’s live-action remake of ‘The Little Mermaid’

Despite her obvious talent as a singer, Bailey has been a controversial pick among some Disney fans, for the simple reason that she isn’t a white redhead like the animated character. Although many people have praised the casting, some fans even have gone so far as to launch the hashtag #NotMyAriel and start online petitions calling for Disney to remove Bailey as “The Little Mermaid’s” new star.

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Diana Huey’s ‘Little Mermaid’ reminds us why diverse casting matters

Diana Huey’s ‘Little Mermaid’ reminds us why diverse casting matters

Diana Huey, the Japanese-American actor who plays Ariel in the current national touring production of the stage version of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” said she has seen negative feedback on social media throughout her run playing Ariel, who is depicted as a pale redhead in the beloved 1989 animated movie. It’s a formidable illustration of the power of cinematic images: What the beloved film shows is by many people considered the only “correct” way to depict the perennially popular Disney Princess. As more and more films are being adapted for the stage as well as for television, that means the way Hollywood chooses to depict characters also influences what we see on stage and on TV.

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