At the end of May, the premiere of the latest Disney movie, The Little Mermaid, took place. In recent years, Disney has had great success remaking popular animated classics with a “live action” twist.
Long before the film was ready to hit cinema screens around the world, criticism raged against the remake. It was the cast in particular that sparked reactions, and many people had strong opinions when it became known that the role of Ariel went to Halle Bailey (23).
Many of the reactions were about Bailey being “too dark” and that it was not “historically accurate” for Bailey to play the fictional character. Plus, people were upset that the long red hair that Disney princesses are famous for wasn’t part of the remake.
Also Read: Storm vs. Halle Bailey after being fired as the new Ariel
Tinashe Williamson (38) gave her voice to one of the characters in the Norwegian version of “The Little Mermaid”. She has internalized the criticism of the Disney movie in question, and leaves no doubt that she thinks the reactions are ridiculous.
Hole in the hat
When Netavien caught up with the 38-year-old in connection with Princess Martha Louise’s famous tour Sunday, Williamson didn’t back down from the topic of diversity.
— It’s a complete mess, says Williamson about the backlash over Ariel being dark-skinned in the new movie.
– There is no shortage of white princesses in Disney, she continues.
The 38-year-old believes that it is not a matter of whether there is room for diversity in today’s society, she sees it as, of course. Especially on TV and movie screens.
What we see on TV should represent society’s image. It’s very important for kids, and people in general, to see themselves as actors, Williamson tells Nettavisen.
Williamson had previously brought up the issue on social media, and when she watched the trailer for “The Little Mermaid” with her two daughters, she shed a few tears:
“Honestly, I shed a tear when I watched the trailer with my kids. Ariel looks like us,” Williamson wrote in a May’s Instagram post.
Also Read: Tinashe Williamson suffered racism at the airport: – I am absolutely outraged
She further wrote in the post that she had no such ideals to aspire to in her childhood, and that there were no princesses who looked like her.
More than 30 years later, representation of diversity is more pronounced, but Williamson is tired and sad that backlash about dark-skinned characters is still an issue in 2023.
– I’m forever disappointed. We all have to be, she says, and continues:
– I think it is painful and difficult for a fictional character to be dark-skinned.
She believes that a major actor like Disney has made the right and important choice with the remake of “The Little Mermaid,” and hopes that more actors will be inspired.
We just have to continue the work we’re doing in putting diversity in representation on the agenda. I also hope that people’s “misfortunes” will intensify.
I got a hate campaign
It wasn’t just the Disney movie that had skin-tone reactions. Netflix hits “Bridgerton,” “Queen Charlotte,” and “Queen Cleopatra” all have dark skin in stories that have sparked a backlash.
Like The Little Mermaid, the Netflix series “Queen Cleopatra” received criticism because the actor who portrayed Cleopatra was dark-skinned.
“I am very disappointed with ‘Queen Cleopatra’ because of the historical inaccuracies in the documentary. I’m not a racist, but I think it’s a little too far to change Cleopatra’s ethnicity, because she wasn’t dark. She was Macedonian and a little bit of Persian,” she said. Write one on Twitter.
Adele James plays the historical character, but before fair-skinned actors like Elizabeth Taylor and Monica Bellucci (58) played the character.
“Netflix’s Cleopatra Catastrophe is clear evidence of the identity politics, race swapping, gender swapping, and agenda swapping happening in pop culture.Post enthusiastically writes Twitter user.
In April, series creator Tina Graffy wrote a column for the American magazine diverse Where she revealed, among other things, that she had received threats after it was known that the Queen of Egypt should not represent a fair woman:
You became the target of a massive online hate campaign. The Egyptians accused me of “blackening” and “stealing” their history. Graffy wrote that someone threatened to destroy my career.
In addition, she defended the casting for the main role, dropping the eternal debate about Cleopatra’s actual race.
– We don’t know for sure if Cleopatra was dark, but we can be sure she wasn’t white like Elizabeth Taylor. We need to have a conversation with ourselves about our color, the inner white supremacy that Hollywood has indoctrinated us into.