Last week (September 9), at its D23 Expo, Disney shared the teaser trailer of its highly anticipated live-action version of The Little Mermaid. Chloe x Halle member Halle Bailey plays the legendary role of mermaid princess Ariel.
Although we already knew that she would be starring in the film, actually being able to see it was so much better than any of us could have imagined. In the trailer, we get our first glimpse of Bailey swimming underwater freely before beautifully singing the song ‘Part of Your World.’ You can check the trailer out below.
Amazing right? Majority of people would agree but it isn’t surprising that some racist people couldn’t get with the times though. After the first look of the film released, #notmyariel started to trend on Twitter from fans who weren’t happy that a Black woman would be playing the role. Luckily, the negativity coming from those people couldn’t overshadow the impact that seeing a Black Ariel had on millions of little Black girls worldwide.
Parents of these young Black girls have gone viral by posting “blind reactions” to their daughters seeing the teaser trailer for the first time. Their facial expressions tell it all. Immediately you hear the young ones saying things such as “Mommy! She’s brown like me.” or “I wanna watch it.” Instead of the nasty hashtag that anti-Halle haters were using, two new ones emerged. #representationmatters and #blackgirlmagic quickly took over social media as parents made sure to show their support of the 22 year old singer/actress.
In an interview with Variety, Bailey spoke on how it was her grandparents who offered her different perspective on the backlash she was getting. “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,’” Bailey said.
“I want the little girl in me and the little girls just like me who are watching to know that they’re special and that they should be a princess in every single way.” she added.
In a social media post where a bunch of the reaction videos from the little girls are compiled, Bailey expressed how much it meant to her to be able to inspire so many Black girls and how grateful she was for all of the support she had been getting.
Alongside Bailey, the Rob Marshall directed film features Daveed Diggs as the voice of Sebastian, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Javier Bardem as Triton, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, and Awkwafina as Scuttle. The script was written by Jane Goldman and David Magee. Miranda and Marshall produce with John DeLuca and Marc Platt.
The Little Mermaid is set to be released in theaters on May 26, 2023. Let us know what you think about the #BlackGirlMagic in the trailer!