Fans Are Drawing Amazing Art Inspired By Halle Bailey’s Casting As Ariel In “The Little Mermaid”
“When I started to see the endless hate going on over it, I felt inspired to create a piece showing how beautiful and magical Halle Bailey would be as Ariel.”
News on Wednesday that Disney had selected singer Halle Bailey to play the role of Arielin the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid has set the internet ablaze, with social media swamped by incredible fan art from people inspired by the casting choice.
“As black creators, we know how isolating this industry can be,” Nilah Magruder, a Los Angeles–based illustrator. “To see a black Ariel now is particularly inspiring.”
“I was kind of like, Whoa, Disney really went and did that!”
Bailey — one-half of the singing sisters duo Chloe x Halle and a star on ABC’s Grown-ish —is the only member of the cast to be announced so far for the movie, which isn’t due to go into production until next year.
Director Rob Marshall said that there had been “extensive search” for the right actor to play Ariel and that Bailey was the perfect choice.
“It was abundantly clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance — plus a glorious singing voice — all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role,” he said.
Given that some online had grumbled about a black actor being cast in the role (although some viral tweets were manufactured for outrage), the fan art is also helping people get a sense of what Bailey might look like in the role.
“When I started to see the endless hate going on over it, I felt inspired to create a piece showing how beautiful and magical Halle Bailey would be as Ariel,” explained Matthew Baig, a 20-year-old California resident who draws as a hobby.
“To me [her casting] means a lot, so I know it means a lot to other people, too,” he said.