Halle Bailey Responds To Black Girls Watching The Little Mermaid Trailer

Halle Bailey Responds To Black Girls Watching The Little Mermaid Trailer

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“The Little Mermaid” star Halle Bailey is “in awe” at the reaction to the live-action movie’s first trailer, which debuted on D23 on September 9. The short clip features a first look at Bailey singing “Part of Your World” as the mermaid Ariel. Parents on TikTok have uploaded clips of their young children watching the 90-second teaser trailer, a supercut of which made its way to Bailey herself.

“People have been sending me these comments all weekend and I’m really impressed,” Bailey wrote on Twitter, sharing a surpercut of young black girls getting emotional while watching the trailer. “This means the world to me.”

Kerry Washington also shared a supercut of black girls responding to the “The Little Mermaid” teaser. One of the girls in the video yells at the screen, “She’s just like me! She’s like me!” when Bailey’s Ariel makes her debut.

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“I can’t stop looking at this one,” Washington wrote. “Halle Bailey, do you see what you’re doing to us?”

Rob Marshall directed the live-action “Little Mermaid,” which stars Bailey opposite Daveed Diggs, Jacob Tremblay, Awkwafina, Jonah Hauer-King, Javier Bardem and Melissa McCarthy. While many were in favor of Bailey’s casting, she faced racist reactions on social media from some fans angry that a black actor is playing Ariel. The hashtag #NotMyAriel appeared on Twitter after Bailey’s casting, but she told Variety that her family helped her drown out the resistance. Bailey’s grandparents shared with her their own memories of the racism and discrimination they had endured in their lives.

“It was inspiring and beautiful to hear their words of encouragement saying, ‘You don’t understand what this is doing for us, for our community, for all the little black and brown girls who are going to see themselves in you,'” Bailey said.

Bailey also overcame the backlash by thinking about how such a casting would have affected her as a young girl. “What that would have done for me, how that would have changed my confidence, my belief in myself, everything,” she said. “Things that seem so small to everyone are so big to us.”

As reported by Variety, the teaser of “The Little Mermaid” was viewed 104 million times worldwide during its first online weekend. That number is higher than any of Disney’s recent live-action trailer debuts, including “Cruella” (68 million views), “Beauty and the Beast” (94 million views), “Aladdin” (74 million views) and “Maleficent 2” ( 62 million views). Due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, “The Little Mermaid” statistics do not include views from the UK, Ireland and Australia.

Disney will open “The Little Mermaid” in theaters on May 26, 2023.

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