Halle Bailey

When I was a little girl, I knew exactly what a princess looked like. She looked like me. Maybe I didn’t have Cinderella’s blonde hair and blue eyes, but I had dark eyes like Belle. I had Merida’s curly hair. And I certainly had one of Snow White’s infamous traits: skin, white as snow. (Funny, that trait seems to be shared among a lot of the Disney princesses!) 

I’m not going to pretend like those original snow-white princesses are the most compelling female role models, but as a little girl, I was able to see myself in their best traits. I could dress up as them for Halloween. I was able to define what a heroine is, who a princess is, as someone who looked like me.

For that reason, I am so excited that Disney has cast Halle Bailey, an African-American woman, to play Ariel in the upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same. 

Soon after their casting decision was announced, #NotMyAriel began trending on Twitter. It appears that some people are angry because if this happened the other way around — if Disney recast a classic black princess as white — there would be a huge uproar. The point some people are missing is that that would never happen, because there has only been one black princess in the past 95 years of Disney history. Frankly, that statistic is pathetic.

Being able to see a princess or hero who looks like you is no small thing in the psychology of a developing child. We know that peoples’ attitudes towards race are impacted by racial representation in media and movies. When black people are consistently portrayed in media as drug addicts, criminals and sidekicks, while white people are portrayed as complex heroes and protagonists, it impacts the way we see black and white people in real life. 

The solution to this problem is incredibly simple: hire more black writers and directors. Make movies with fully developed and complex black characters. Create black protagonists, heroes and princesses.

Remaking The Little Mermaid with a black Ariel isn’t taking anything away from white people; we have Elsa, Anna, Cinderella, Rapunzel and even the original Little Mermaid. Rather, it’s giving something to a generation of little African-American girls that they have only experienced once before: the chance to see themselves in a Disney princess.

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(5) comments

Steve Gregg

Prince comes from the Latin “prínceps,” mean “first man.” The leading member of the Senate was called the “princeps senatus,” or the “first man of the Senate,” who was the first man allowed to talk in a session of the Senate. The Roman emperor Caesar Augustus adopted it as one of his unofficial titles and it stuck with the following emperors. From there, it was adopted by the succeeding rulers of Europe. Europe is not Africa, which is why princes come from Europe and not Africa. It follows that princesses also come from Europe rather than Africa. Much of Europe was invaded by the Vikings, who, being northern people, were blonde. That’s why so much of the ruling aristocracy of Europe are Viking blondes while their subjects are brown-haired Saxons or Celts. That’s why Disney princesses have skin white as snow, you Woke dunce. The Vikings did not invade Africa, which is why they have no blonde rulers. It must come as a surprise to hammer-headed PC Millennials who are ignorant as mud about world history, but blonde princesses are a European thing, not an African thing. There are no African princesses just as there are no African geisha girls nor African Apache medicine men nor African Mayan priests. It’s also funny to read that a social justice warrior from the Daily, who rails against cultural appropriation, wants a black person to culturally appropriate a European cultural role. How do you justify this cultural hijacking in opposition to your most fervent opposition to cultural appropriation? And, as for mermaids, they were originally manatees which the sailors of old mistakenly thought were women, maybe because they’d been at sea too long. Way too long. Yet again, mermaids were a European legend, not an African one. Once again, you are hijacking a European fable to place an African character in it. Does this cultural appropriation jazz of yours only apply when its convenient for you? It looks like you use whatever piece of politically correct rhetoric is expedient at the moment to bully people. Now, I’m not against mixing it up to freshen a story, but I am absolutely against SJW racists who demand characters be cast by race to satisfy their extremist ideology. And, really, isn’t everyone tired of tiresome liberals demanding that every bit of the media carry their political messages? Enough.

Ron Solomon

They just hired the best person for the role.

Steve Gregg

Nonsense. They're pandering to the social justice warriors. If recent history serves as a guide, they will fail doing so. When you go Woke, you go broke.

Ron Solomon

Additionally, how are you not banned from here. Every single comment you lacks civility. Whether it’s “dimwit liberal” or “woke dunce”, it’s explicitly against the rules of the comment section.

Steve Gregg

Of course, the editors of the Daily have tried banning me several times, primarily because they are enemies of free speech. It did not work. Of course, it's a problem for the editors to ban somebody for speech when they, themselves are calling me and others racist at the drop of a hat, as liberals are prone to do. And, there is the simple truth that the loony lefty editors are indeed woke dunces and dimwit liberals for beating up on Disney because their princesses are snow white, not black, when the entire concept of princess is white European. That said, I believe the dominant reason they leave me alone is that nobody else writes comments other than me since they constructed the elaborate commenting verification system some years back. Every obstacle you place between the customer and service reduces the number of commenters. The former Daily editors, built this after a war between a crazy liberal editor began deleting all the conservative comments, threatening the commenters by email, and the commenters fought back by posting under fake names. Before that, the Daily commonly had threads dozens of posts long. Their bungling killed all that. They're lucky to have me. I've been keeping the comments section alive for years.

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