Chinese Disney Fans Decry Black ‘Little Mermaid’ Casting

Under the P.C.? Netizens object to the ‘politically correct’ and ‘disrespectful’ casting of Ariel in an upcoming adaptation of the Disney classic.

Chinese Disney fans are voicing their disapproval over a planned live-action remake of the 1989 film “The Little Mermaid” after a black actress was cast in the lead role.

In an online poll conducted by Chinese entertainment platform Sina Movie, over 60,000 respondents had signaled their displeasure over singer Halle Bailey playing the mermaid Ariel as of Thursday evening, while only about 5,000 approved of her being tapped for the part. On Wednesday, Disney announced that the cast for the remake of the animated classic included 19-year-old Bailey, with the film’s director Rob Marshall praising her “rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance — plus a glorious singing voice.”

While Western media outlets largely lauded Disney for its colorblind casting, the Chinese internet has unleashed a torrent of shock, anger, and disappointment at the multibillion-dollar company for “ruining” their childhood memories and “disrespecting the original work.”

“It’s not that I don’t like black people,” one netizen commented on microblogging platform Weibo. “The problem is that this character was originally white with red hair.” Continue to read the full story here.


–This article first appeared on Sixth Tone