Just this past week, Disney sparked a number of debates online after it was announced that the singer of R&B duo, Chloe x Halle, a black woman, will play the character of Ariel. Many of the critics maintain that the character should be white and red-headed like the 1989 animated character. On the other hand, others accuse those naysayers of just simply being racist.
Donald Glover, who is casted for the live-action reboot of The Lion King as Simba, weighed in on Halle's casting in The Little Mermaid in an interview with E! News' Zuri Hall.
"I thought that was so special," the actor said on Tuesday at the premiere of The Lion King. "We were just watching that film and I'm like, that's such a great story, but I'm just like, I dunno, I just hope that she's like having fun and don't let anybody make you feel the opposite of how you want to feel. It's a very special role and you earned it, so I hope you're listening."
While Disney has not yet commented directly on the criticism over the The Little Mermaid casting, on Saturday, an "open letter to the Poor, Unfortunate Souls" was posted on the Instagram account of the company's cable network, Freeform.
"The character of Ariel is a work of fiction," the post read. "So after all this is said and done, and you still cannot get past the idea that choosing the incredible, sensational, highly-talented, gorgeous Halle Bailey is anything other than the INSPIRED casting that it is because she 'doesn't look like the cartoon one,' oh boy, do I have some news for you...about you."