Updated: Nov 12, 2019
In case you haven't heard yet, a live-action version of the Little Mermaid is in the works, and the team behind it just cast Ariel. Unfortunately, the joy that this classic children's movie has brought to so many, including myself, was overshadowed by a wave of negativity regarding the actress chosen.
The problem? She's black. Thus, the internet exploded with fury and the #notmyariel hashtag was born.
People are hysterical because they feel like the character should be white, staying true to the cartoon. Other's have said that it's just trendy to cast black females. On the other side of the fence are the other black women, and women of color (I hate that term), who feel like it's a win. They're finally getting their fair share of screen time, and Hollywood is starting to make some progress.
Personally speaking, I feel like I'm in my own little bubble when it comes down to this. As a mixed race woman I've never really identified with anything. I view myself, and everyone else, as a person. Growing up with both a white and black side of my family and having friends from all backgrounds, I've always just appreciated people for who they are and never given a second thought to "race".
I feel like there shouldn't be any comment. The level of anger this ignited on both sides genuinely confuses me because it's just a fucking children's cartoon, so why is this so upsetting?
Why can't people just be cast for the merit and talents and we all just say "Congratulations!" and "Job well done!"? For all we know, and what I prefer to assume, this talented young woman was cast for just that, her talent.
The casting director didn't see her skin color, but instead knew she was the right person for the role. It doesn't matter if she's black, white, asian, latino, or an alien from someone unknown planet we have yet to discover. What matters is that she fit the bill and got the part.
We will never be able to move on from all the prejudice that exists in the world when everyone is imposing labels on each other and ourselves. My question is, will there ever be a time when we can all just be people? Being the eternal optimist I am, I would like to think so, but it's petty debates like this that cause my heart to be filled with doubt.
What are your thoughts? We don't have to have the same opinion, I'm just here to start a discussion! Comment below, and let's start a conversation!