A Black Little Mermaid

A couple things first, one, I want to congratulate Miss Hailey Barry on being selected to portray Ariel in the re-make of the Little Mermaid. Second, MERMAIDS DON’T FUCKING EXIST.

If I did not get my black card taken away for not being a Beyonce or Orpah fan I’m sure I am going to lose it now.

I was talking to my dad recently about the pending release of the new Lion King. On multiple occasions over the years he has brought up that if it were not for my sister and I, he would never have seen any of the Disney movies. He also says those were the best years of his life. 🙂 Anyway, my father has spent a bit of time over the last few weeks trying to get me to go see the new Lion King with him. My argument is simple, I like the original and every real-life remake of a Disney movie that has been done has been awful. I tell him Lion King and Little Mermaid are two of my favorite Disney movies and do not want my memory tainted by whatever Disney does with these two. (Beauty and the Beast is another favorite and no, I did not like the re-make even though I do love Emma Watson). I tell my father that by the way, they’re re-making Little Mermaid with a black actress. He thought I was talking past tense. No, I tell him it is what they are doing – it was recently announced. His response was simply Wow. I told him after I heard that announcement I turned the television off. My father followed up with “I gather all that PC doesn’t inspire you”.

Image result for black little mermaid
Picture: Disney/Getty

I see what Disney is trying to do. Aside from being PC they want a cookie for putting a black actress into a well-known Disney character. Like I told my father, it is great to see a black actress in a main role but how about we give a black actress her own story instead of putting her into something that already exists. I saw a photo of Miss Barry (I am assuming) on set and while she had dreads… her dreads were red. Like we can’t even give this woman a different look because I am sure the character’s name is still Ariel.

I went on to tell my dad about a not as popular Disney movie that was done some years ago called the Princess & The Frog. A tale about a black princess. It was a typical Disney Princess movie, but it was a black female character in her own story; it was the story of Tiana. I’ll give Disney a cookie for that one.

Princess And The Frog, The

I guess my point is, give black people their own story!

Recently, my family and I watched Little. Which is a perfect example of what I mean. It is a story with strong black female lead characters telling their own story.

Universal Studios

Granted, when I was trying to explain what the movie was about to my husband I realized it was the opposite of the movie BIG. Instead of a story about a kid that becomes an adult, it is about an adult who becomes a kid and it is great. Excellent acting, funny, life lessons – the whole package (for black or white characters).

I have seen the defense argument for a black mermaid that Ariel is Danish and Danish people can be black. Okay, well, so can British people. There are also white Africans. And Asian Americans. I think it is a weak defense and people need to just say it how it is. The traditional image of Ariel is a pasty white girl with flamboyant red hair with shells as a bra…. period, the end, final. Would you make Coming to America with a white dude? You can say what you want out loud but in your head you know the answer is no.

Yes, Mermaids can be black. But need they be named Ariel, with a clown fish partner named Flounder?


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