Halle Bailey, known for her role in “Grown-ish” and as one half of the famous R&B singing duo Chloe and Halle, is getting ready for her newest film, Disney’s live-action “The Little Mermaid,” to hit theaters. The 22-year-old is set to star as the lead, Princess Ariel.
As the premiere of “The Little Mermaid” inches closer, Bailey just shared that the live-action version of Ariel will soon make her debut at Disney Parks.
Live-Action Ariel Coming Soon To Disney Parks
This summer, the live-action Ariel from the upcoming “The Little Mermaid” remake will appear at Disneyland Park, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disneyland Paris.
“Hi, Disney Parks fans, I’m Halle Bailey,” she began the video by saying. “I’m excited to announce that later this summer at Disney Parks, Ariel will venture into the human world where you’ll be able to meet her yourself; so cool!”
Although exact dates have yet to be announced for when the new Ariel meet and greets and experiences will debut, Disney has shared more information about what to expect.
At Walt Disney Studios Park in Disneyland Paris, Ariel will appear in a “joyful, limited-time celebration,” which will be an interactive “musical moment” and will include the songs “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl.”
Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, Guests can see a sneak peek of props from the film at the Walt Disney Presents Theater, which will be on display for a limited time. The live-action Ariel will also meet Guests inside the theater.
And in Disneyland Park, Ariel will greet Guests on the promenade near “it’s a small world.”
Disney And Halle Bailey Face Backlash
Not long after Disney announced Halle Bailey would portray Ariel, fans took to social media to express their frustrations about the casting of the Disney Princess, and the hashtag #NotMyAriel immediately began to trend.
“The live-action should reproduce the anime to the maximum extent to show their respect. Halle is a perfect singer but not a suitable actress for Ariel. Ariel’s skin is white, her hair is red, and her eyes are blue, and these can not be changed.#NotMyAriel,” one fan Tweeted using the #NotMyAriel hashtag.
As another wrote, “I do not care what anyone says, I’m not watching the little mermaid (not even when it becomes available on @DisneyPlus @DisneyStudios you only had one job, and you’ve fu*ked up big time. It wasn’t a singing competition. #NotMyAriel.”
Halle Bailey has since addressed the backlash, admitting, “As a Black person, you just expect it, and it’s not a shock anymore. When [Chlöe and I] first signed to Parkwood, [Beyoncé] always said,’ 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 there’s this whole other community when you’re Black. It’s so essential 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.