Halle Bailey addresses hateful and racist messages she received for her role in ‘The Little Mermaid’

Halle Bailey has once again addressed the “hateful and racist” messages she received over her role inThe Little Mermaid.

The 22-year-old actor’s casting sparked a racist backlash online from people who complained that she didn’t look like Disney’s original version of Ariel, who was drawn as white.

Addressing the criticism, Bailey told Edition magazine: “Seeing the world’s reaction to it was definitely a shock.

“But seeing all the babies’ reactions, all the brown and Black young girls, really tore me up emotionally,” she added.

When the trailer for the Disney film was released, many parents posted videos of their Black and non-white children reacting to the trailer.

“I think she’s brown,” said a little girl, in a video that has been liked over a million times.

She then sits up and brings her hand to her chest as she watches. “Brown Ariel. Brown Ariel is cute,” she says.

In many other videos, plenty of children responded positively to Bailey’s casting with one girl saying that Ariel “looks like Rapunzel and Tiana combined”, adding: “she’s got dreads.”

Halle Bailey in ‘The Little Mermaid’ (Disney)
Halle Bailey in ‘The Little Mermaid’ (Disney)

The trailer also inspired praise for Bailey’s singing from the film’s adult fans.

In August 2019, Bailey responded to the racist backlash she received when her casting was announced.

She told Variety: “I feel like I’m dreaming and I’m just grateful and I don’t pay attention to the negativity.

“I just feel like this role was something bigger than me, and greater, and it’s going to be beautiful and I’m just so excited to be a part of it.”