Remember all the controversy and backlash after Disney announced that Halle Bailey of Chloe x Halle would play Ariel in the live-action version of The Little Mermaid? How racist trolls came from out the woodwork, created the #NotMyAriel hashtag and managed to get called out by the likes of Freeform, Donald Glover and the original Ariel Jodi Benson? Well, Halle Bailey has finally broken her silence on the matter.
Attending Variety‘s 2019 Power of Young Hollywood event, Bailey told the outlet, “I feel like I’m dreaming. And I’m just grateful. I don’t pay attention to the negativity; I just feel like this role is something bigger than me. And it’s going to be beautiful. I’m just so excited to be a part of it.”
Her sentiments match that of Glover who urged the Grownish actress to embrace her special moment and block out all of the negativity. “I thought that was so special,” the actor told E! News of Bailey’s casting. “We were just watching that film and I’m like, that’s such a great story but I’m just like, I dunno, I just hope that she’s like having fun and don’t let anybody make you feel the opposite of how you want to feel. It’s a very special role and you earned it, so I hope you’re listening.”
“I think the most important thing is to tell the story,” Benson told fans at Supercon in Florida in July. “We have, as a family, raised our children and for ourselves that we don’t see anything that’s different on the outside. I think that the spirit of a character is what really matters. What you bring to the table in a character as far as their heart and their spirit is what really counts.”