Halle Bailey says her Ariel won't just 'leave the ocean for a boy'

Halle Bailey has hinted that her version of Ariel in this year's live-action remake of The Little Mermaid won't just "leave the ocean for a boy."
The 22-year-old singer and actress has dominated headlines ever since it was first announced that she would take on the iconic role of Ariel in Dismey's The Little Mermaid live-action remake.

At the time, the announcement was met with both immense praise and backlash, especially from those who couldn't come to grips with the fact that Ariel - a fictional mermaid who is depicted as white in the 1989 animated version - will now be Black.

Following the uproar, Bailey defended herself against her critics, revealing that she wasn't surprised by the comments being made about her casting during a QEA video on her YouTube channel.

"As a Black person, you just expect it and it's not really a shock anymore," Bailey said, adding: "I want the little girl in me and the little girls just like me who are watching to know that they're special, and that they should be a princess in every single way. There's no reason that they shouldn't be. That reassurance was something that I needed."

Bailey then said: "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.'"

Despite the backlash, Bailey has soldiered on and has even revealed that the upcoming fantasy movie will deviate slightly from the original.

Speaking to Edition, the young actress said: "I'm really excited for my version of the film because we've definitely changed that perspective of just her wanting to leave the ocean for a boy. It's way bigger than that."

Of course, fans of the original version will remember that the 16-year-old mermaid eventually gives up her voice in order to be able to walk on land and attempt to woo Prince Eric... whom she'd only ever met once.

"It's about herself, her purpose, her freedom, her life and what she wants," Bailey continued. "As women we are amazing, we are independent, we are modern, we are everything and above. And I'm glad that Disney is updating some of those themes."

Bailey even touched upon the criticism she received early on in the process, adding: "Seeing the world's reaction to it was definitely a shock, but seeing all the babies' reactions, all the brown and Black young girls, really tore me up emotionally."

She remarked: "It's honestly been such a crazy ride, and I genuinely feel shocked and honored and grateful to be in this position. A lot of times, I have to pinch myself and be like, is this real life?"

We cannot wait to see this movie! Something tells me it's going to prove a lot of the haters wrong.

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