Halle Bailey believes the negative reaction to her casting as Ariel in ‘The Little Mermaid’ was ‘not really a surprise.’
Halle Bailey is excited for viewers to witness the new live-action “The Little Mermaid” and is unafraid of critics.
The singer and performer claimed in a new interview with The Face published on Thursday that the criticism that erupted when word of her casting as mermaid Ariel surfaced – and again when the first look of her in the role was released last fall – was unsurprising.
“As a Black person, you simply anticipate that, and it’s no longer a surprise,” the Grammy nominee explained.
“People don’t realize that when you’re Black, you have this entire other community,” she explained. “It’s critical that we perceive ourselves.”
Bailey also stated that once the teaser was out and parents began sharing videos of their Black daughters admiring Bailey as Ariel, she stared at them “in disbelief.”
“That makes me feel more appreciative of where I am,” she remarked.
The rising star also credited the “Little Mermaid” filmmakers with allowing her authentic identity to be a part of this new iteration of the aquatic Disney princess, specifically with regard to her hair.
“As a Black woman, hair is spiritual, especially locs,” Bailey remarked, adding that she spent a substantial amount of time on set examining how her hair moved in water.
“It was incredibly fantastic for them to create Ariel with my locs,” she continued.
Based on the 1989 animated classic, “The Little Mermaid” also stars Melissa McCarthy as the sea witch Ursula. It is set to be released on May 26.