Casting for live-action Little Mermaid stirs controversy


Graphic by Isabella Kneeshaw.

Kayla Vo, Staff Writer

Come shell-ebrate Disney’s upcoming live-action The Little Mermaid with a bowl of popcorn and controversy. 

Some people have chosen to critique the racial composition of this movie’s cast list, while others have praised the diverse representation it gives. When the trailer was released on Sept. 9, 2022, a majority of Disney fans went feral. With the lack of black representation in Disney movies in the past, seeing actress Halle Bailey in the title role of this iconic childhood mermaid makes many feel represented. 

“We should all believe that it’s possible to do and achieve anything we desire, no matter our identity,” Tualatin High School’s Black Student Union president Jada Belisle stated.

While some people argue that this change in the movie isn’t a big deal, this opens a window for actors of color to be seen by future generations. Not only certain races does this include, but every person that wants to reach outside societal norms and let their heart take them places.

“For some people, it doesn’t bother them, but for young black girls, it can be very beneficial self-esteem-wise for the way they see themselves. Seeing that there are people who look like them and they’re just as beautiful can help change one’s mind about how they view themselves,” Belisle said.

Self-confidence is hard enough, especially when growing up in a world filled with people telling us who we are and what we are supposed to be. Bailey had some encouraging words in her interview with People Magazine after the racist and discouraging comments following the live-action trailer.

“We’ve always learned to just keep our heads up no matter the situation. No matter what anybody has to say to you… just keep pushing,” Bailey said.

Keep your eyes peeled for the change this movie is going to make and remember the wise words of Ariel…

“I want to be where the people are.”

The people are here, craving the release of the live-action The Little Mermaid, and you should be, too.