Halle Bailey, Auli’I Cravalho Respond to #Notmyariel Backlash From “The Little Mermaid” Casting

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The Little Mermaid, Halle Bailey and Auli'i Cravalho

Credit: Slaven Vlasic + Getty Images / Disney / Morgan Lieberman + FilmMagic

It’s been several weeks since Disney announced that singer and actress Halle Bailey will play Ariel in the upcoming live-action version of “The Little Mermaid.” After Disney and Bailey were met with backlash following the casting announcement (with fans even going so far as to start a #NotMyAriel trend on Twitter), the actress is finally speaking out.

“I feel like I’m dreaming,” Bailey said in an interview during the recent Variety Young Hollywood event. “And I’m just grateful. I ignored the negativity; I felt like this role was something bigger than me and greater. And it’s going to be beautiful. I’m just so excited to be a part of it.”

Related: Disney Defends Decision to Cast Halle Bailey in Upcoming “The Little Mermaid” Film

The actress also interviewed ET at the event and continued sharing how happy she is to be a part of the upcoming film.

“It means so much to me,” the 19-year-old said. “I feel very honored and grateful for the opportunity. Ariel was one of my favorite princesses growing up, so it’s a dream come true. I’m very excited and happy.”

Bailey isn’t the only one in Hollywood to speak out after mixed reviews following the announcement of her role as Ariel. Disney’s FreeForm took to social media in defense of the decision to cast Bailey as a character who Disney previously depicted as white with red hair. Even Jodi Benson, the original Ariel from the 1989 animated classic, spoke out in support of Bailey. And most recently, Moana herself, Auli’i Cravalho, is celebrating Bailey as the new Ariel. Cravalho will also play a live version of Ariel in ABC’s upcoming “Wonderful World of Disney” stage performance of “The Little Mermaid.”

Auli'i Cravalho wearing blue dress at event
Credit: Variety

“Oh, I can’t wait to see her and congratulate her,” Cravalho said at the Variety event. She was asked to share her thoughts on the backlash Bailey received based on her race after being cast as Ariel in the upcoming film. Cravalho replied, “Yeah, there’s so much room for many types of Ariels and mermaids. I’m so honored to be able to lend my voice and my interpretation of Ariel, and I cannot wait to see Halle’s.”

We don’t know about you, but we can’t wait to see both Bailey and Cravalho play Ariel in each of the upcoming productions of “The Little Mermaid.”

What do you think of Bailey’s response to the #NotMyAriel trend on Twitter? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Elle, ET

in Disney, Entertainment, Movies

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