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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Howard chapter.

Disney recently had its D23 Expo convention where the company released exclusive sneak peeks of its new and upcoming projects for movies, TV shows and amusement parks. If you are a huge Disney fan like myself, you were excited to see the announcements for so many new projects all over social media. However, the announcement that captured most people’s attention was definitely the teaser trailer for the live-action “The Little Mermaid” starring Halle Bailey as Ariel. In this trailer, Bailey puts her unique flair on the classic song “Part of Your World” which left many with chills and ready to see more of the movie. Bailey’s casting as Ariel is also making incredible strides for Black representation in the media since she is now Disney’s second Black princess.

However, the release of the teaser trailer did not come without controversy. Shockingly, the trailer received 1.5 million dislikes on YouTube. There are several people upset online because they do not believe that Bailey is fit for the role. The complaints range from Black mermaids being historically inaccurate to Ariel being Black not aligning with their childhood memories. Surprise! Mermaids are mythical creatures, and they can be whatever color under the sun. Also, this live-action remake isn’t meant to completely replicate anyone’s childhood but rather bring nuances that will appeal to a new generation. The bottom line is that they do not want to see a Black woman in the lead role as the desirable and beautiful princess. I am sure there wouldn’t be such an uproar if a Black person were cast as Ursula, the villain. Unfortunately, this negativity is a reminder of the racism and bigotry that continues to corrupt our society.

Despite the ignorant comments, “The Little Mermaid” teaser trailer created a positive impact and generated great excitement for the movie, especially for young Black children. There are several videos on TikTok that show Black and brown children reacting to the trailer and their faces instantly lighting up after seeing a Black Ariel. In general, many people who shared their reactions were left in awe and became very emotional after watching Bailey’s performance. Even though we only got to see a small part of the movie, it is clear that Bailey’s talent and beauty are undeniable, and she captures the essence of Ariel very well. I believe that Bailey will be a phenomenal Ariel, and I cannot wait to see “The Little Mermaid” live-action when it comes to theaters in May 2023.

Hi, my name is Briana and I am from Philadelphia P.A. I am a senior Biology major with minors in Chemistry and Spanish studying at Howard University. My interests include writing, dancing, and natural hair and skin care.