July 10, 2019

THE BACKLASH OVER THE LITTLE MERMAID CASTING A BLACK ARIEL IS FAKE NEWS:

Last week, Disney announced that Halle Bailey, a black actress, would portray the fictional mermaid princess in a live-action remake. Allegedly, this infuriated some racists because Ariel is red-haired and white-skinned in the cartoon version. “Us white girls, who grew up with The Little Mermaid, deserved a true-to-color Ariel,” wrote one critic, Rebeccs, in a tweet that went viral. “Disney, you made a huge mistake by hiring Halle Bailey.”

Horrified? Don’t be. A troll account was responsible for the tweet, as Buzzfeed‘s Brandon Wall helpfully explained:


Moreover, there were a lot more people responding to the tweet and disagreeing with it than liking it.

It’s true that a few Twitter users seemed genuinely upset about the casting. But the overwhelming majority of people tweeting #NotMyAriel are doing so in support of Bailey and expressing outrage that anyone would be offended by a black Ariel. Their fury is well-intended but largely unnecessary.

Giant corporations sure know what they’re doing when it comes to pressing the buttons of a mass audience on social media, even if their PR machines have to break a few eggs in the process:

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