In yet another schadenfreude-laced example of a celebrity accidentally torpedoing the facade of Hollywood’s focus on identity politics, a recently resurfaced interview has revealed that despite her film’s entire marketing campaign relying on the narrative, Disney’s upcoming live-action The Little Mermaid remake star Halle Bailey had no trouble connecting with characters who shared none of her own superficial traits.
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To the surprise of no one who has paid even the slightest bit of attention to Disney’s political flailing in recent years, the concept of ‘representation’ has become a core tenant of the company’s operations, having allowed them to both disingenuously milk given demographics for their money and attention with low-quality products as well as head off any criticisms the public may level towards them for doing so.
As such, few were surprised to find this representation rhetoric – which essentially claims that viewers are unable to connect or empathize with a given character unless they share the same immutable characteristics such as gender, sexuality, or skin color – being deployed full force in promotion of The Little Mermaid.
Speaking with Variety in her first major interview after being cast in the role, Bailey asserted that her appearance in the film as a race-swapped version of Ariel was culturally important for black audiences because she “[wanted] the little girl in me and the little girls just like me who are watching to know that they’re special, and that they should be a princess in every single way.”
“There’s no reason that they shouldn’t be,” she continued. “That reassurance was something that I needed.”
Asked how she was able to weather the racist backlash to her casting – this being yet another narrative manufactured by the company in order to shield their upcoming cash grab from legitimate criticism of its poor production standards – Bailey said that it was her grandparents who gave her the confidence to push forward.
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“It was an inspiring and beautiful thing to hear their words of encouragement, telling me, ‘You don’t understand what this is doing for us, for our community, for all the little Black and brown girls who are going to see themselves in you,’” she told the entertainment news outlet.
“What [seeing a black princess] would have done for me, how that would have changed my confidence, my belief in myself, everything,” she concluded. “Things that seem so small to everyone else, it’s so big to us.”
Bailey would further promote this narrative during a later interview with the fashion magazine The Face.
Reflecting on the backlash to her casting, the actress 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 singer-slash-actress. “As a Black person, you just expect it and it’s not really a shock anymore.”
Yet, despite her espousal of these tired talking points, the actress would reveal during this very same visit with Variety that she (and her younger self) easily identified with characters who looked nothing like her.
As recently highlighted by YouTuber George the Giant Slayer in his recent video ‘Why Hollywood Woke Media Is Dying! Disney On Life-Support!’, Bailey would make seeming slip-of-the-tongue during a separate interview given to the publication for their YouTube channel’s ‘This or That’ feature, wherein celebrities are asked about their preference between two given options relating to such topics as food, music, and movies.
Asked by Variety if she preferred Disney’s original 1989 animated The Little Mermaid to her own live-action version, Bailey asserted, “Oh my gosh, this is a really, really hard one because the animated version has always been so special to me.”
“Since I was so small,” she further gushed. “I mean it’s the reason I would swim, I would be in the pool feeling like I am the animated version of her.”
“And so today, the dream comes true with the live action version,” Bailey concluded, “which is super cool so of course I’m gonna choose mine because I’m like what.”
As explained by George the Giant Slayer in his analysis, “There, in her own words: She had almost a profound connection to The Little Mermaid. So that means the movie and the magic in it worked!”
“It drew her in,” concludes the YouTuber. “She didn’t have to see herself. She understood it. She loved it. So that means no changes are necessary.”
The Little Mermaid is currently on the hook to wash up into theaters on May 26th.
NEXT: 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”