The girls react to seeing a Black Ariel

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Parents of black girls are posting videos of their excited children reacting to the trailer for Disney’s upcoming live-action movie “The Little Mermaid,” starring Halle Bailey as Ariel.

“Mommy!” says a girl in a video posted by TikTok user nickyknackpaddywack. “She’s a brunette like me!”

Her video is among many being shared on TikTok and Twitter, with parents using hashtags like #representationmatters to help demonstrate the importance of actor diversity in children’s media.

Disney presented a trailer for the film at D23 over the weekend. The trailer has racked up nearly 11 million views on YouTube.

But its release reignited racist backlash online, which first surfaced in 2019 following news of Bailey’s casting, from some people who said they believe Disney is “too awake” to make the movie’s lead character black.

In the original animated film, released in 1989, Ariel, a fictional mermaid, is depicted as a white, red-haired woman.

In one of the reaction videos, posted by TikTok user Precious Avery, a little girl named Emery lounges on the couch but sits up when Bailey appears on screen.

“I think she’s brunette!” says Emery beaming in the video. “Brown Ariel is cute.”

TikTok user callmedarii posted a similar video of her daughters’ delighted reactions to seeing Ariel.

“This is why representation is important! We can’t wait to see this,” he captioned the video.

“Is Ariel really black?” says a young woman in a video posted by TikTok user jendayis682.

“In this ‘Little Mermaid’ it will be”, replies the person who records the video.

“Do you understand how it feels for our babies to see themselves in fairy tales the world said weren’t meant for them?” jendayis682 wrote in the caption. “Say what you want and complain all you want… I don’t hear anything about the joy and excitement that this girl has seeing a person that she represents.”[s] its.”

The new “Little Mermaid” will feature four additional songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda, more detailed mermaid tails and a black princess, director Rob Marshall told D23, reported Variety.

Marshall said that the live-action remake will “honor the original animated film”, but that he wanted to “bring some depth” to the reimagined story.

Critics have claimed that the cast is not faithful to Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, which was originally published in Denmark.

But many “Little Mermaid” fans have defended Bailey’s choice, noting that the 1989 Disney movie isn’t particularly faithful to Andersen’s fairy tale either, which is a violent story that ends with the Little Mermaid’s death after the prince marries another woman.

TV writer Gennifer Hutchinson, who wrote for “Breaking Bad” and is now a writer for “Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power,” said she loved the “nightmare factory version” of “The Little Mermaid.”

in a twitter thread, summarized Andersen’s original story, in which the little mermaid’s sisters exchange their hair for a knife. The little mermaid has to stab the prince to get his tail back, but she can’t bring herself to do it.

“It turns into sea foam,” Hutchinson said. “So…what were people saying about being ‘true’ to the original Andersen story?”

Other Twitter users also mentioned details of the original story that Disney did not include in its animated film.

“Hans Christian Andersen wrote The Little Mermaid in 1837. It is not a ‘folk tale’ or a myth,” said Twitter user ViragoX. “His skin is described as translucent green. Her hair color is never mentioned. She is in constant agony with every step she takes, the prince treats her like a pet, then marries someone else.”

Bailey is not the first actor of color to face racist criticism after being cast in an iconic role.

Following backlash against the casting of elf warrior Arondir and dwarf princess Disa in Amazon Prime series “Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power,” cast members pledged to unite against racism and bullying in a statement joint.

The “Game of Thrones” prequel series “House of the Dragon” also received backlash recently for the character of Lord Corlys Velaryon, played by black actor Steve Toussaint. Toussaint responded to the racist comments in a Men’s Health interview.

Disney’s “Star Wars” franchise also recently spoke out after “Obi-Wan Kenobi” actor Moses Ingram faced racist attacks online.

In a recent interview with Variety, Bailey addressed the racism she faced and described encouragement from her grandparents.

“It was inspiring and beautiful to hear the words of encouragement,” he said. “Telling me, ‘You don’t understand what this is doing for us, for our community, for all the black and brown girls that are going to look at you.'”


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