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Original "Little Mermaid" Jodi Benson supports Halle Bailey

By Flora  /  10 Jul 2019 (Wednesday)

Image credit: cnn

Star Halle Bailey was cast as the red-headed mermaid in the upcoming live-action remake “Little Mermaid”. While many supported the decision, there is a group of people who are against it due to Bailey’s skin colour, resulting in the #NotMyAriel hashtag on twitter. 

Jodi Benson, the OG voice of Disney’s Ariel (1989) spoke out against the racist backlash. At a pop culture convention, Benson told fans that “the most important thing is to tell the story” and proudly showed her support for the 19-year-old singer-actress.

“And we have, as a family, we have raised our children, and for ourselves, that we don’t see anything that’s different on the outside. I think that the spirit of a character is what really matters. What you bring to the table in a character as far as their heart, and their spirit, is what really counts. And the outside package—'cause let’s face it, I’m really, really old—and so when I’m singing ‘Part of Your World,’ if you were to judge me on the way that I look on the outside, it might change the way that you interpret the song. But if you close your eyes, you can still hear the spirit of Ariel.”

Benson is not the only person connected to Disney who has spoken out about the racist backlash to Bailey being cast. Disney's Freeform channel also made a statement on its Instagram directed to those who think a black actress cannot play a Danish princess.

An open letter to the Poor, Unfortunate Souls: ______ #TheLittleMermaid #Ariel #MyAriel

A post shared by Freeform (@freeform) on

No release date has been announced but production is set to begin in early 2020. 
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