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The black Little Mermaid, an ode to representation

US singer and actress Halle Bailey arrives for the world premiere of Disney's "The Little Mermaid" at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, on May 8, 2023.   -  
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VALERIE MACON/AFP or licensors


Actress Halle Bailey has been facing racist backlash for starring as princess Ariel in Disney’s new live-action rendition of The little Mermaid.

Bailey shared her insights on the importance of representation for black girls and boys on the big screen.

“Yeah, it feels so surreal and amazing to know that our version of this film is going to be this new generation's first kind of impression of it. And, you know, we are just so grateful. And for me, I am just so proud to be a part of being a Black princess and showing these babies and children that representation is so important and for them to be able to see themselves on screen. So, especially with this new version, I just am like overjoyed,” shared Halle Bailey. 

Many online trolls have voiced their discontent regarding the casting of a black actress, blaming woke culture and the progressive agenda. 

Ironic for a movie that addresses physical differences and how these should not be a hindrance to love.

The young actress says she turned to her family for support.

“Yeah, it was definitely my friends and family, like my sister, Chloe, my siblings, Jonah. I mean, everyone has just uplifted me during this time and been so positive and I've just been focusing on that,” expressed the young star. 

Halle Bailey says the online trolling she received when she landed the role of Ariel pales in comparison to her grandparents’ experiences of racism in America’s Deep South.

The actress added that it’s hard for her to believe this film could be watched for decades, much like the original movie and that watching young girls relate to her character encouraged her to focus on the positive.

Celebrities such as Beyoncé and Zendaya have also shown their support.

Bailey is to star in the new remake of Alice Walker’s novel the color purple directed by Ghanaian filmmaker Blitz Bazawule.

The Little Mermaid hits U.S theaters on May 26th.

Hollywood’s “Black Renaissance”

This past decade a whirlwind of black Hollywood execs such as Kenya Barris, Issa Rae, Ava DuVernay, Jordan Peele, Lena Waithe, Daniel Kaluuya etc… have given a voice to black stories, depicting the many layers of blackness. 

This black renaissance, as experts have dubbed it, is a gateway to reclaiming a space that was for a long time dismissive of black people’s worldly experiences, often reducing black populations to gimmicks, quotas, or tokens.

The black Renaissance is a pacific demonstration that screams:“Black people are not a monolith”.

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