Josh Gad is showing support for fellow Disney star Halle Bailey.
After the premiere of the first official trailer for Disney’s reboot of the classic 1989 film “The Little Mermaid” was met with racist backlash last week, Gad called out social media trolls on Twitter over their relentless discrimination over Bailey’s casting.
Bailey — who stars as the iconic character Ariel aka the youngest daughter of King Triton in the upcoming live-action adaptation — has been targeted with hateful retaliation since it was announced in 2019 that a Black actor would star as the redheaded mermaid princess.
“Imagine being so broken and pathetic in life that your chief concern is the skin color of… a make-believe singing mermaid,” the 42-year-old actor tweeted Thursday.
Imagine being so broken and pathetic in life that your chief concern is the skin color of… a make-believe singing mermaid. https://t.co/7F6F8LT2b9
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) March 16, 2023
In November, Bailey opened up about overcoming her “nerves” over starring as the beloved Disney princess.
“I don’t feel any pressure anymore,” the 22-year-old told E! News when asked about starring as the titular character. “I think that before I started filming, I did feel some nerves naturally because the film is so important to so many people.”
She also said she’s been able to ward off her anxiety with the help of her close friends and family, including older sister Chloe Bailey.
“I just lean on them and I know that I just give it my 100 percent,” Bailey said. “I did my best, that’s all I can do. I’m just really grateful to see it all play out.”
Back in 2019, she spoke about the backlash she suffered, insisting that she was unfazed by her online trolls.
“I feel like I’m dreaming, and I’m just grateful. I don’t pay attention to the negativity,” she told Variety at the time. “I just feel like this role is something bigger than me. It’s going to be beautiful. I’m just so excited to be a part of it.”
The musical fantasy film also stars Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Javier Bardem as King Triton, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, Awkwafina as Scuttle and Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric.
“The Little Mermaid” hits theaters May 26.