Halle Bailey talked about all things Little Mermaid in a new interview with Variety. The "Do It" singer spoke about what got her through the backlash after her casting as Ariel and why representation is so important.
Variety pointed out how after her initial casting people started trolling on social media with the hashtag #NotMyAriel due to not wanting a Black actress to play the character. Before her casting, the only other black actress who had played a Disney princess was Anika Noni Rose as Tiana in The Princess and the Frog. Luckily, Bailey had a support system in place to help her through the backlash. “It’s important to have a strong support system around you," said her sister Chloe. "It’s hard to carry the weight of the world on your own."
Halle recalled her grandparents' views on the situation: "It was an inspiring and beautiful thing to hear their words of encouragement, telling me, ‘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.’” She continued about playing the role, “What that would have done for me, how that would have changed my confidence, my belief in myself, everything. Things that seem so small to everyone else, it’s so big to us.”