The Crusader Newspaper Group



Just when you think things can’t get worse in American racial relations, they do! Halle Bailey is an American singer and actress best known for being one half of the musical duo Chloe x Halle with her sister Chlöe. Together they have earned five Grammy Award nominations since 2018.

Halle just experienced what is probably a very high point in her career: she was cast as the first African American playing the role of Disney’s Ariel from The Little Mermaid. The downside is the insane number of dislikes that were immediately given within 24 hours of the release of the movie’s trailer.

There have been several videos showing extremely positive reactions among young girls, especially young Black and brown girls, but not limited to them, upon seeing the trailer. Many of them were absolutely flabbergasted to see a Black Ariel, and offered actual squeals of delight! “Mommy! … She’s brown like me!” says a girl in a TikTok video according to an observer.

An online AfroTech article by Shanique Yates states that a Forbes report from September 14 read, “The film’s trailer has been flooded with 1.5 million dislikes from angry ‘fans’ – despite YouTube removing the dislike counter, the numbers are still available through an extension.”

This is clearly overkill; this was the number of dislikes within a two-day period! Something is wrong in America when grown people go out of their way to make an effort to spew hatred.

In an interview with Variety, Bailey addressed the backlash regarding her being cast in the lead role. She said that her grandparents offered her some perspective. “It was an inspiring and beautiful thing to hear their words of encouragement, telling me, ‘You don’t understand what this is doing for us, for our community, for all the little Black and brown girls who are going to see themselves in you’,” Bailey said.

Some people on social media have actually used the hashtag #NotMyAriel to say that casting a Black actress goes against the original Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, which was originally published in Denmark in 1837.

Interestingly, the argument is that there are no Black mermaids and therefore, Halle’s depiction of Ariel does not make sense. Actually, there are a lot of traditions all around the world that include stories about Black mermaids, which show how uninformed the anti-Halle trolls really are. There was even a television series that depicted Black mermaids.

Another anti-Black Ariel person said that mermaids live in water where there is no light, and therefore, a mermaid’s skin would never be black because of the absence of the sun under water. The problem with this fractured logic is that there are many denizens of the deep that have dark skins, and a perusal of any book depicting aquatic animals would bring this truth immediately to light.

Finally, one of the most ridiculous aspects of this whole situation is the fact that Ariel is “fictional;” she does not exist in real life. She was originally a figment of someone’s imagination, which lends credence to the illogicality of the extreme opposition to Halle Bailey’s role!

With this said, the question could arise as to whether or not there would be the same vitriol if a Black man played the part of Frankenstein, Dracula, or any number of other fictional characters.

The ultimate hypocrisy, however, is that there was no outcry when Elizabeth Taylor played the part of “Cleopatra” in a movie, and no one seems upset that Jesus has always been depicted as white in America, even though it is patently obvious that a typical European would not have lived in the areas that he did.

Mostly, this cruel anti-Ariel backlash (i.e., anti-Halle Bailey’s depiction of Ariel) just lends additional evidence to the abject ignorance and cruelty of a growing breed of backward white residents of the United States of America.

After all this time, apparently many of them are beyond help and beyond reason…they are all wet in their campaign to bully a young woman poised to experience a high point in her career. Hopefully, this ilk is outnumbered by people of a more reasonable disposition. A Luta Continua.

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