Racist Trolls Are At It Again: Halle Bailey Defends Her Role as Ariel

Either the trolls are going to be a part of this world, or not.

Following the release of another trailer for Disney’s live-action movie The Little Mermaid, singer and actress Halle Bailey, who is set to debut in the leading role as Ariel, faced a new outpouring of backlash from racist trolls.

In a recent cover story interview with The Face, Bailey addressed the frenzy and shared her perspective on the critics.

“As a Black person, you just expect it and it’s not really a shock anymore,” Bailey told the outlet. ​”When [Chlöe and I] first signed to Parkwood, [Beyoncé] was always like: ​’I never read my comments. Don’t ever read the comments.’ Honestly, when the teaser came out, I was at the D23 Expo and I was so happy. I didn’t see any of the negativity.”

“I know people are like: ​’It’s not about race.’ But now that I’m her…People don’t understand that when you’re Black there’s this whole other community,” she added. “It’s so important for us to see ourselves.”

As previously reported by BLACK ENTERPRISE, the first trailer dropped for the movie last year, accumulating racist trolls who had an opinion about the casting decision. Bailey decided to block out all negativity and focus on the positive, including all the Black girls who expressed their excitement to see her as Ariel.

“People have been sending these reactions to me all weekend and I’m truly in awe,” Bailey wrote on Twitter at the time. “This means the world to me.”

In a 2022 interview with Entertainment Weekly, The Little Mermaid director Rob Marshall said after auditioning every ethnicity for the role, Bailey was the best match, adding that there was no hidden agenda behind the casting.

“We just were looking for the best actor for the role, period. The end,” Marshall said. “We saw everybody and every ethnicity. [The goal was to find someone who can be] incredibly strong, passionate, beautiful, smart, clever [and with] a great deal of fire and joy.”