Recently, the casting of Halle Bailey in the role of Ariel in Disney’s upcoming live-action adaptation of the 1989 classic The Little Mermaid has spawned a hefty amount of racist backlash online. Many detractors don’t seem to believe a Black woman can be a mermaid.
One person who is hitting back at Bailey’s detractors is comedian Nicole Byer, who responded to a white woman on Twitter who apparently believed she was a better fit for Princess Ariel.
LOL, other than white… WHO ARE YOU? https://t.co/fTQIQHy3XX
— nicole byer (@nicolebyer) July 9, 2019
In addition, a fan theory made by Byer during one of her standup routines has resurfaced on Twitter, making many question if the villainous Ursula is really the hero.
Ok so here’s the thing: pic.twitter.com/s4Wjsw9iF7
— Kaleeezy (@itskaleop) July 8, 2019
“Ursula is a shape-shifting sea witch who chooses to be a fat, beautifully made up, incorrect octopus,” Byer said. “And she only turns into a thin white woman to go where the people are.”
Byer then goes on to theorize that perhaps Ursula is not the famed villain she was designed to be.” Maybe she took Ariel’s voice to show her that having a voice is more important than looking like every other f*****g basic b***h,” Byer continued.
The role of Ursula in director Rob Marshall’s upcoming retelling of The Little Mermaid is slated to be played by Academy Award-nominated actress Melissa McCarthy.
Here’s another Ursula theory that has us wondering as well:
And now that I think about it… keep Melissa as Ursula and make sure we don’t ignore the racial element of this. I want us to engage with the idea that a white woman wants to steal the voice of a Black woman. Biiittchhhhh, the think pieces write themselves lol
— Tre’vell Anderson (@TrevellAnderson) July 3, 2019
The film is scheduled to begin production in April 2020.
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Photo: Getty Images / Disney