Following 19-year-old Halle Bailey’s casting as Ariel in Disney’s upcoming live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid, a number of racist comments flooded the Internet, angry over the decision to have a black actress play the red-headed mermaid princess.
Jodi Benson, who was the original voice of Ariel in the 1989 animated film, was not okay with the criticism, and expressed her thoughts at Florida Supercon. “I think the most important thing is to tell the story,” Benson said at the pop culture convention. “We have, as a family, raised our children and for ourselves that we don’t see anything that’s different on the outside. I think that the spirit of a character is what really matters. What you bring to the table in a character as far as their heart and their spirit is what really counts.”
“We need to be storytellers,” she continued. “And no matter what we look like on the outside, no matter our race, our nation, the color of our skin, our dialect, whether I’m tall or thin, whether I’m overweight or underweight, or my hair is whatever color, we really need to tell the story.”
See the discussion via a Disney fan Instagram below.
Leave it to the voice of Ariel herself, @jodi.benson to give an insightful, thoughtful response when asked her thoughts about an African-American actress being cast to play Ariel in the upcoming live-action version of “The Little Mermaid” at her @floridasupercon panel yesterday (Scroll through to see full response in 2 videos). She really put things in perspective! —— (PLEASE ONLY REPOST WITH CREDIT!) . . #jodibenson #littlemermaid #thelittlemermaid #ariel #princessariel #hallebailey #chloexhalle #thelittlemermaidliveaction #waltdisneystudios #disneystudios @disneystudios #disneyliveaction #mermaid #disneyprincess #dreambigprincess #disneyprincesses #partofyourworld #voiceactor #voiceover #voiceactors #mermaids #underthesea #mermaidlove #lapetitesirene #lasirenita #disneymovie #floridasupercon #instadisney #disneygram #disneyig #disney