Halle Bailey felt the ‘pressure’ filming The Little Mermaid amid racist backlash

·2-min read
Halle Bailey felt the ‘pressure’ filming The Little Mermaid amid racist backlash

Halle Bailey has admitted she felt under "pressure" to do the best job as Disney's Ariel amid ongoing racist trolling.

The actress, 22, stars as the fairytale character in the highly-anticipated live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.

Bailey, who is also a singer, told E! News: "I definitely think that because I love this movie so much, and I've treasured it since I was a little girl, I did put a bit of pressure on myself.

"Just because I want to deliver all of the feels that I saw when I was a little girl."

The star, who said she has been a lifelong fan of the 1989 Disney original - based on Hans Christian Andersen's Danish fairytale - also said  that she gave "110% percent" to the film and is proud of her performance.

Her comments come shortly after the film's first trailer was met with a barrage of racist comments from online trolls.

While Bailey received similar prejudiced sentiment when she was first announced in the role in July 2019, the movie teaser triggered the hateful comments exponentially.

The trailer, which has gained millions of views globally, and YouTube has now disabled the thumbs-down “dislike” button.

However, the actress has also received support, including from Daryl Hannah, who famously starred as a mermaid named Madison in the 1983 smash hit movie Splash, alongside Tom Hanks.

Bailey, Lily James, and Naomi Scott present the Oscar for the Best Animated Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards in Hollywood (REUTERS)
Bailey, Lily James, and Naomi Scott present the Oscar for the Best Animated Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards in Hollywood (REUTERS)

The 61-year-old tweeted: "The little mermaid is black/I met her/there!".

She added the hashtag: "Don't be a racist dork".

Jodi Benson, 60 - the voice actress who portrayed the original Ariel in the animated classic - also showed her support on her Instagram story.

She said: "Halle, you were absolutely amazing! 'I'm SO proud of you & your beautiful performance as Ariel..."

The positive reaction of black children seeing Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid also went viral leading to Bailey posting a message in response saying: “People have been sending these reactions to me all weekend and i’m in truly in awe… this means the world to me.”