Disney Star Josh Gad Buys Into Narrative That Any And All Criticism Of Live-Action ‘The Little Mermaid’ Is Racist, Decries Critics As “Broken And Pathetic”

Josh Gad recalls his kids' obsession with the film 'Encanto' during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2022), ABC / Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney’s live-action THE LITTLE MERMAID. Photo courtesy of Disney. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Josh Gad recalls his kids' obsession with the film 'Encanto' during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2022), ABC / Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney’s live-action THE LITTLE MERMAID. Photo courtesy of Disney. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

In doing his part to run cape for the company’s latest serving of unoriginal slop, noted Disney star Josh Gad has fully bought into the narrative that any criticism of The Little Mermaid’s upcoming live-action remake is purely and unequivocally racist.

Josh Gad claims to have been haunted while filming in Australia during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2022), ABC

Josh Gad claims to have been haunted by a ghost while filming in Australia during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2022), ABC

RELATED: Disney’s Live-Action ‘The Little Mermaid’ Star Halle Bailey Dismisses Backlash Against The Film As Purely Racist: “As A Black Person, You Just Expect It”

Moreso than perhaps any of modern Disney’s previous such attempts to grift on the brand recognition of their animated classics, The Little Mermaid’s production has failed to garner any significant hype amongst general audiences.

Official movie poster for The Little Mermaid (2023), Disney

Official movie poster for The Little Mermaid (2023), Disney

Between its uninspired origins, muddy visuals (especially when compared with the gorgeous, hand-animated original), and the cynical nature of its identity politics-inspired existence, many audiences members – including some hardcore brand acolytes – have widely found themselves disinterested in what they expect to be yet another subpar cash-grab.

One particular sticking point for fans has been the race-swapping of the story’s protagonist from her original depiction as fair-skinned to her new incarnation as a black woman, courtesy of Disney’s casting of actress Halle Bailey for the role.

Ariel (Halle Bailey) investigates a shipwreck in The Little Mermaid (2023), Disney

Ariel (Halle Bailey) investigates a shipwreck in The Little Mermaid (2023), Disney

And while the rejection of Bailey’s casting has nothing to do with audiences not wanting to see a black woman in a movie but rather everything to do with their dissatisfaction towards the studio once again erasing a creator’s original work in order to score quick brownie points with the terminally online, this has not stopped either Disney nor the media from dismissing anyone not 100% onboard with the film (no pun intended) as an out-and-out racist.

Ariel (Halle Bailey) plays with a puffer fish in The Little Mermaid (2023), Disney

Ariel (Halle Bailey) plays with a puffer fish in The Little Mermaid (2023), Disney

Such was the case with the pro-Democratic Party activist group Call to Activism, who on March 16th took to their official Twitter account to accuse, “BREAKING: The YouTube trailer of The Little Mermaid is currently being mass “disliked” on Youtube by MAGA racists.

“The teaser trailer has generated over 3 million dislikes, and the new trailer has over 600,000,” the disingenuous group continued. “The important thing about the controversy surrounding Halle Bailey’s casting is that we remember a beautiful and talented actress won the role. We can’t allow racism to ever be normalized.”

Call to Activism pushes Disney';s disingenuous 'racism' narrative for 'The Little Mermaid'

Archive Link Call to Activism via Twitter

RELATED: Disney’s Live-Action ‘The Little Mermaid’ Star Halle Bailey Responds To Race-Swap Criticisms: “The Reassurance That Little Girls Just Like Me Should Be Princesses Was Something I Needed As A Kid”

It would be this dishonest approximation of the situation that caught Gad’s attention.

Uncritically retweeting the activist group’s original post, the Frozen franchise star and live-action Beauty and the Beast actor declared, “Imagine being so broken and pathetic in life that your chief concern is the skin color of… a make-believe singing mermaid.”

Josh Gad pushes the false narrative that any and all backlash to 'The Little Mermaid' is based in racism

Archive Link Josh Gad via Twitter

Notably, Gad is not the only Disney star to have publicly thrown their support behind the company’s latest use of their favorite deflection tactic.

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter on the topic of Disney’s continued race-swapping, Peter Pan & Wendy star not only agreed with the outlet’s framing that criticism of this practice was purely based in racism, but also doubled down on the supposed social ‘importance’ of this casting trend.

Yara Shahidi as Tinkerbell in Disney's live-action PETER PAN & WENDY, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Disney. © 2023 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Yara Shahidi as Tinkerbell in Disney’s live-action PETER PAN & WENDY, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Disney. © 2023 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“What’s been beautiful is seeing the response to both of our characters and seeing how many people feel included in this fairy tale, while also maintaining the magic that we love in the first placed,” said the Grown-ish star while on the red carpet for her Apple TV Plus series Extrapolations. “I think oftentimes people think of diversity and inclusion as threatening or jeopardizing the quality of the story, instead of seeing how beautifully they can be interwoven together to create something that impacts even more people, that lets even more people into stories that we love.”

Tinkerbell (Yara Shahidi) takes a rest in Peter Pan & Wendy (2023), Disney

Tinkerbell (Yara Shahidi) takes a rest in Peter Pan & Wendy (2023), Disney

Likewise, while reflecting on the widespread panning of The Little Mermaid‘s first teaser during a February interview with fashion magazine The Face, Bailey herself opined, “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,” said the actress. “As a Black person, you just expect it and it’s not really a shock anymore.”

The Little Mermaid is presently set to flop into theaters on May 26th.

Ariel (Halle Bailey) takes notice of a naval battle happening above the surface in The Little Mermaid (2023), Disney

Ariel (Halle Bailey) takes notice of a naval battle happening above the surface in The Little Mermaid (2023), Disney

NEXT: Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ Live-Action Remake Director Rob Marshall Claims “We Saw Everybody And Every Ethnicity” Before Casting Race-Swapped Ariel

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