In 2019, the Walt Disney Company announced that “Grown-ish” actress Halle Bailey, who is also known as one half of the popular R&B singing duo Chloe x Halle, would portray the iconic Disney Princess, Ariel, in the live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid.”
The announcement has sparked controversy and backlash among fans, with the hashtag #NotMyAriel trending on social media.
YouTuber Kalen Allen has had enough and is now standing up for “little black girls” everywhere, asking those angry fans to “find their inner Elsa”.
Kalen Allen Speaks Out
The 27-year-old YouTuber has taken to social media to clap back at the haters and to stand up for “little black girls” everywhere, asking fans to take a step back and to actually listen to the lyrics of Ariel’s song, “Part Of Your World”.
“Listen here, all of you that are so attached to the original Ariel actually don’t care at all about what she stands for,” he wrote on Facebook before adding,”‘Part of Your World ‘is literally a song about wanting to belong to a world that isn’t meant for you.”
He continued to spell out the lyrics. “For the past 34 years, little black girls have sang these lyrics… I don’t know when / I don’t know how / But I know something’s starting right now / Watch and you’ll see / Some day I’ll be / Part of your world.”
Allen continued to speak out, standing by Disney’s decision to cast Halle Bailey as Ariel in the upcoming live-action “The Little Mermaid”, expressing how much this means to the younger generation. “Hoping and dreaming that they too could be princesses one day in a world where there were none that looked like them,” he continued to write. “Through this reimagining, they get to see themselves and the best part is everybody wins. Why? Because the original Ariel isn’t going anywhere.”
He concluded by asking fans to “find their inner Elsa and let it go”. “So if you have spent your whole life being able to see yourself through media and never once doubted if you were truly part of this world, find your inner Elsa and let it go!,” he wrote on Facebook.
Fans Rally Behind Kalen Allen, Stand Up For Halle Bailey Amid Backlash
Allen’s Facebook post gained over 2,000 comments from fans, with many agreeing with the YouTuber, expressing that they could not have said it better themselves, and thanking him for speaking out.
“”Find your inner Elsa and let it go!!!” The scream I scrome when I scrumpt!!! 🤣🤣🤣 Classic!! That’s a keeper, Kalen Allen #Perfection #IFeltThatm” one of Allen’s followers wrote.
While another chimed in with, “I’m a redhead and loved being able to relate to Ariel (especially being teased as a redhead)! I’m SO happy other girls can see themselves through this new mermaid 🧜♀️.”
One Disney fan expressed, “I’m 36, and The Little Mermaid has been my favorite Disney movie since it came out, and I for one will be at the theater, opening week, without kids, enjoying the HECK out of this movie!! The trailers look awesome, she looks amazing, and I cannot wait!!!”
As another one of Allen’s followers commented, “I saw videos of how excited and happy this makes so many kids, and even adults. I’m so happy more little girls get to feel that joy. The little mermaid has always been my favorite princess, can’t wait to see this with my daughter.”
While one user wrote, “Kalen, you preaching out here on this internet and they don’t like it. Everything you saying made perfect sense, and they still don’t get it. They don’t want to get it, unfortunately! I love you!”
Hallie Bailey Admits She ‘Expected’ The Backlash
After Disney dropped its second trailer for its upcoming live-action film, the backlash from racist fans began once again as many attacked both Disney and Halle Bailey.
“As a Black person, you just expect it and it’s not really a shock anymore,” Bailey said in a recent interview after the trailer dropped. ”When [Chlöe and I] first signed to Parkwood, [Beyoncé] was always like: ’I never read my comments. Don’t ever read the comments.’ Honestly, when the teaser came out, I was at the D23 Expo and I was so happy. I didn’t see any of the negativity.”
She added, “I know people are like: ’It’s not about race.’ But now that I’m her…People don’t understand that when you’re Black there’s this whole other community. It’s so important for us to see ourselves.”
The upcoming live-action film will star Halle Bailey as Ariel, Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Javier Bardem as King Triton, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, and Jacob Tremblay as Flounder.
Disney’s live-action “The Little Mermaid” hits theaters on May 26, 2023.