Little Mermaid Trailer Drastic Backlash

Victoria George, Staff Writer

“The Little Mermaid” is a 1989 American animated musical fantasy film produced and released by Walt Disney Pictures. A tragic in which has remained its relevance throughout generations on screen and off screen. In June of 2019, an announcement was made of the animated classic’s live adaptation in which a Black actress would lead the starring role of Ariel. While many individuals, primarily belonging to minority groups, rejoiced in this announcement, many expressed their disappointment and frustration towards the casting choice.

In September of 2022, the first trailer was released after three years of this announcement which yielded a resurgence of the racial backlash previously occurred. The film is set to release in May of 2023.

This is not the first time that live adaptations of Disney classics have generated massive backlash prior to their release. The trailer of 2019 musical fantasy “Aladdin,” which serves as the live-action feature of the 1992 film with same name, was heavily criticized for its characterization of the main antagonist, Jafar, and the CGI depicting Will Smith as Genie. The trailer of the 2019 “The Lion King” had audiences expressed their discontent for the extreme similitude to the 1994 animated feature.

However, the negative criticism these trailers received was only momentary.

Despite accruing 104 million views on all social media platforms, the trailer for the upcoming “The Little Mermaid” has received an overwhelming number of dislikes and numerous racial slanders have flooded the comment section. As of right now, the official YouTube channel for Disney Studios has hidden the number of dislikes and turned off their comment section.

Many ponder in perplexity regarding the widespread controversial attitude towards a Black actress enacting the role of Disney Princess who is White in the original Disney classic feature.

Especially since, in 1997, a remake of the 1950 classic film “Cinderella” in which all the characters were animated as White was theatrically revived with a Black woman playing its titular character and with American singer Whitney Houston playing the iconic role of the fairy godmother. The 1997 version is considered a cult classic.