Halle Bailey has responded to racist backlash over her role as Ariel in the upcoming Little Mermaid live-action adaptation.
The film's trailer sparked a series of heartwarming viral videos earlier this month, with young children reacting to seeing Halle as the first Black actress to play Ariel. However, the project has also been met with racist responses, with Halle now discussing the 'commentary' around the film.
In a video posted on her YouTube channel, Halle started off by telling viewers, 'I dedicated so much time, blood, sweat and tears into this work for this film and in the process I learned so much about myself.'
She went on to say that she was 'way more timid' at the beginning of filming, explaining, 'I felt like I grew with Ariel’s character in a way ... I think that was the biggest takeaway for me, just to believe in myself and know that I’m worthy.'
Halle went on to address backlash surrounding the film, saying, 'And even still today with all of the commentary and people’s opinions going on, it just reminds me to be number one: grounded, and grateful that I have this opportunity.'
She continued, 'And the fact that it’s sparking such a discussion for all of us ... I mean, I know what it would’ve meant to me as a little girl to have been able to see a Black Ariel.
'When I was younger, if I would’ve seen that, it would have changed my whole outlook on life so the fact that I’m kind of getting to do that is really cool and unbelievable to me and the little girl inside of me is screaming and freaking out.'
Halle previously opened up about conversations she'd had with her grandparents over taking the role of Ariel. She told Variety, '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." '
The Little Mermaid comes to cinemas in May 2023.
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