It is no secret that “The Little Mermaid” has caused a reaction all around the world. Everyone has grown up watching Disney princesses on their screens. Boy or girl, you have either heard of them or seen them with your own eyes. Some of us have even dressed up as them on Halloween as children and felt like we were real princesses. Now that we are adults and seeing the iconic 2D animation being created into a dazzling live-action film, Disney has put everyone under a trance of nostalgia. Well… almost everyone.
There has been a plethora of people who were not pleased with the one-minute and twenty-three-second trailer and have made it publicly known as such. What possible problem could a Disney trailer have that is making adults upset? The answer is simple: In this live-action version, the Little Mermaid “Ariel” will be played by the polished singer Halle Bailey, who happens to be Black.
In the Disney Animated film, “Ariel” has an amazing voice that practically puts you in a trance and just so happens to be white. That is exactly what Halle portrays in the trailer, so there should not be a problem here. However, Adults cannot seem to focus on that because it is hard for them to grasp Black people can be in fairy tales too! Adults are so outraged they have created Facebook group pages dedicated to the #NotMyAriel movement. The hashtag was a buzzing trend used by people expressing their disgust for the trailer.
We don't have a problem with colored people , or people of other ethnicities. We have a problem with Disney casting somebody who looks nothing like Ariel. It's that simple! But the whole world assumes the worst.Who are the real racists here?#NotMyAriel pic.twitter.com/baZgdenZu4— NOTMYARIEL (@NOTMYARIEL8) July 9, 2019
With that being said, there has been a lot of negative energy put out about this trailer. But there has also been an abundant amount of love for this trailer by none other than black people themselves and supporters. There have been compilations of little black girls showing a jovial reaction to seeing a mythical creature that looks like them in mainstream media.
The real reason I'm crying at these reaction videos of Halle Berry being Ariel in the Little Mermaid, is that it's 2022 and we still don't have racial representation in mainstream media, and when we do it's shocking instead of the norm. #TheLittleMermaid pic.twitter.com/vi0vtv5RIw— AllieFromCali ✌🇺🇸➡️🇨🇷 (@CheesyAllie) September 13, 2022
Emotional nostalgia is one thing that we all can relate to, but Black representation is powerful because it widens the perspective for all people but Black children. It is not a coincidence the film “Black Panther” affected Black mindsets. Black people do not get to have the spotlight in fantasy genres as they should. We still have people who were alive to not only see but live through Jim Crow laws. Now they get to see a black woman with dreadlocks for her hair being the main character in an iconic Disney film. Anyone who has a problem with children wanting to be represented in the media in a positive light is the problem. Hollywood has a lot of work to do, but this is a small win that requires celebration, not segregation.