The Little Mermaid star Halle Bailey recently complained about tasteless comments she had to face during international interviews, asking Disney executives not to expose her to similar situations again.
Disney’s live-action adaptation of the beloved classic The Little Mermaid has been highly discussed since the film and its casting were first announced, dividing audiences and sparking polarized opinions regarding the upcoming movie. While singer and actress Halle Bailey has bravely spoken out on the racism and backlash against her casting as Princess Ariel, a recent experience disgusted the young actress, who reportedly came to Disney’s high executives asking never to be exposed to similar situations again.
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During the international premiere of The Little Mermaid in Mexico City, local journalists interviewed the young actress and Spanish actor Javier Bardem at multiple entertainment programs. Unfortunately, what was supposed to be a standard international tour ended up being an unpleasant experience for Halle Bailey, who faced out-of-touch comments from Argentinian actor Patricio Borghetti during an interview in the Mexican morning show Venga la Alegría.
During the nearly seven-minute interview, Halle was asked about her experience visiting Mexico, how her role as Ariel has impacted her life, and her relationship with fellow actors working in the movie, including Melissa McCarthy (Ursula).
However, about halfway through the interview, Patricio Borghetti stopped to tell Halle, “This isn’t a question. It’s something I want to share with you. I promise, no one in that movie theater was looking at your skin color last night. Everyone, everyone, including my wife and my children, was lost in your eyes. Everyone.” While these comments were made in good faith, according to the Argentinian actor, Halle’s body language and facial expressions showed discomfort after hearing them and during the rest of the interview, as they inevitably felt racially charged.
While Mexican culture and its understanding of racism and Black culture cannot be compared to American standards, Borghetti’s comments inevitably feel out of touch. They even caused Halle Bailey to reportedly complain to some of Disney’s high executives, questioning why she was brought to Mexico and asking never to be exposed to interactions with unprepared journalists.
During the same interview, Bailey commented she had tried to “focus on the positivity and seeing all of the beautiful little children and babies’ reactions to the dolls and to the, to the mermaid like me that looks like them.” But even all the positivity in the world could not ignore the tone-deaf comments Halle Bailey had to face during her tour promoting The Little Mermaid in Mexico City.
Do you think Halle Bailey was rightfully offended by these comments? What do you think of the incident? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments below!