Journalist Justin King says the outrage over a Black Ariel is about racism, not tradition.
Disney’s live-action “Little Mermaid” will star Halle Bailey as Ariel, but critics trended #NotMyAriel on Twitter in response to the news.
“People are upset by this because, I mean, this is an old story, dates back to 1837, and we can’t go changing it. It will mess with tradition if we do that,” King remarked sarcastically.
However, King was also quick to point out that the original story of the little mermaid, which dates back to 1837 is much more violent and nefarious — with death plots, pain, and Ariel eventually taking her own life.
“You can’t hearken back to the tradition of 1837 when the actual tradition you’re talking about started in 1989,” he stated. “There have been a lot of changes to this story over the years. Skin tone would be the least of them.”
King says that the people who are mad about Bailey’s casting, didn’t learn a lot from the story they’re trying to defend.
“I mean deep down this is a messed-up story, but that’s the one good piece. Letting go of the racial separations,” he said. “But we can’t do that. And in fact, we’re going to call back to the tradition of this story to say we can’t do that. That’s pretty messed up. We could probably learn a lot from a Black Little Mermaid.”