Halle Bailey makes history with lead role in The Little Mermaid
Sub-heading: The actress chooses to focus on positivity despite social media backlash
Actress Halle Bailey has been making waves as the lead in the highly-anticipated live-action film adaptation of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. However, her casting was met with a temporary backlash on social media due to her being the first African American to play the underwater character.
Despite the negativity, Bailey is choosing to focus on the positive – both in her history-making role and in her personal life.
Bailey’s casting in the role of Ariel is not only a groundbreaking moment in her own career, but also for diversity in Hollywood and the entertainment industry as a whole. She is the second Black person to be cast in a leading role in a Disney film after Jamie Foxx, who played a middle-school band teacher in an animated flick in 2020 that went on to be nominated for two Academy Awards.
Bailey’s inclusion in the film marks a significant moment for representation, which is often lacking in mainstream media. Her casting has also drawn praise from fans and fellow actors alike.
In a recent interview with Reuters, Bailey explained that the struggles her parents and grandparents faced during the times of racial segregation have helped her remain positive through any negativity she faces today. She talked about how her grandfather was moved to tears watching the trailer for The Little Mermaid, saying that moments like that make her feel like she’s in the right place.
Bailey also spoke about how different her life would have been growing up if Disney films had featured more African American characters in lead roles, which she said would have made her feel “worthy enough to be a Disney princess.”
The release of The Little Mermaid is fast approaching, and with it, a new chapter in Bailey’s already impressive career. Her historic casting is a reminder that diversity and representation on screen matters, and can help inspire future generations of actors and actresses to pursue their dreams.
As the release date approaches, Bailey is receiving more and more support from fans all over the world, who cannot wait to see her in the iconic role of Ariel. The Little Mermaid hits theaters on May 26th.