According to Entertainment Weekly, the original Ariel is so here for Halle playing the part! Jodi Benson, who voiced the role of Ariel in 1989, defended Halle’s casting after trolls complained the mythical character could not be black.
“We need to be storytellers,” Jodi says. “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.”
Social media users have gone into an uproar that has led to the spread of harsh racial commentary about a children’s film. Some are even making use of the hashtag #NotMyAriel, and have created a petition to change Disney’s decision.
Jodi, however, says none of those things matter.
“I think that the spirit of a character is what really matters,” Jodi says. “What you bring to the table in a character as far as their heart and their spirit is what really counts.”
Unfortunately, the casting decision is shedding light on a deep rooted issue in our country. Racism and prejudice are still alive and well. So much so, folks have taken offense to a black woman playing a creature that does not exist.
Many black celebs have come to Halle’s defense as well, and congratulate her for landing the role. Stars such as Yara Shahidi, Zendaya, and Halle Berry all send well wishes.
In a statement, Freeform defends Halle as well. The statement speaks to Ariel’s existence being that she is “a work of fiction.”
Despite the negativity, Halle says she is excited and in shock over her new role. We wish her all the best!