The actress who originally played “Ariel” in The Little Mermaid has given her approval of the recent casting of Halle Bailey in the title role.
Actress Jodi Benson has come out to defend the casting of Halle Bailey in a live-action production of the movie.
Benson was the voice of Ariel in the 1989 animated version of the Disney tale.
At a Supercon convention in Florida, Benson stressed that the story, as well as what’s on the inside, are the most important:
“The most important thing is to tell the story. 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,” Benson says.
Halle’s voice is MADE to sing “Part of Your World” https://t.co/VIUCbQggH0
— Allie (#1 Bigger Stan) (@Fergyonce) July 3, 2019
Benson went on to address the backlash that has come with Bailey’s casting. Bailey is a person of color, and in the original The Little Mermaid, Ariel appears to be white, though it should be said that mermaids aren’t really any other race except mermaid.
“We need to be storytellers. And no matter what we look like on the outside, no matter our race, our nation, the color of our skin, our dialect, whether I’m tall or thin, whether I’m overweight or underweight, or my hair is whatever color, we really need to tell the story,” said Benson.
I met Ariel‘s voice actress yesterday and it helped me come into terms that the original animation will always exist and the memories shared too. But now we should be excited for the next generation to create new memories! Jodi Benson told us that she trusts in Disney’s magic
— chrisy (@chrisychrxs) July 6, 2019