Red Hair is Relative

“The Little Mermaid” remake casting has divided people


Photo by Mac Fleming IV

Disney is releasing another live-action movie much to many people’s chagrin. Soon a red-headed mermaid with dark skin is coming to a silver screen near you in 2023. – Made in Canva

Every week the internet always seems to have something new to complain about, especially when nostalgia is involved. The newest topic the internet decided to argue about for no reason and for way too long is the fact that a Black woman was cast as “The Little Mermaid” in a movie that is not only finished, but is also for children. 

Normally this controversy would be no different than any other except for the fact that it was a doorway to an open cavalcade of racism that has not been seen on the internet in a while and it should be talked about. 

A discussion on why “The Little Mermaid” being Black is not the end of the world needs to be had, and blaming Black people for this change instead of the literal corporation attempting to placate them is the wrong thing to do. And, guess what, Disney’s attempt to appeal to a demographic without actually putting the work in is definitely working now because people will go see the movie just to spite the people that said Ariel cannot be Black. Now the movie is going to make a billion dollars because people could not keep racist or nearly racist commentary to themselves. Congratulations to everyone who made their voices heard. 

Because no one’s mom taught them that if you do not have anything nice to say do not say anything at all, they are pushing art and creativity back several years. The bigger cost is they are rewinding the rooting out of corporate greed and the lambasting of actual lazy representation back several years. All this is caused because they were unable to keep their complaints focused on the actual problem and not letting little Black girls just have this one. Let’s stay with that for a second. The movie was made for little girls and there are two types of people complaining that are both older than the target audience range. 

Half of the people complaining are people who have the disposable income required to go see a remake of a movie they have seen already and most likely already own a hard copy of. No one is asking them to spend their money and see a movie they would rather boycott if their outrage could actually last longer than 10 minutes. 

And somehow these are the people who seem rational as they are only mad that they changed an aspect of a film that is important to them. Compared to the other group, the group full of racists, the group filled with nostalgic outrage is actually justified except for the fact that it’s not. Disney isn’t deleting all the other Little Mermaid movies, where Ariel is white from existence. Just go watch those instead.

The other half of people complaining about the race swap in “The Little Mermaid” do not actually care about Ariel and probably do not even know she gave up her voice for a man.  The people in this category do not care about the movie at all and were just waiting for a chance to say something deliberately racist.

Therefore, the anger storm falling on top of Disney’s head gave detractors the perfect excuse to bully an actress who not only won the part because that is how casting works, but is also just doing her job.To put it all into perspective, “The Little Mermaid” can be Black because it is literally a movie about a fictional sea creature that does not exist and her race does not actually affect her characterization in the least. If you’re worried about the logistics of a Black mermaid, go hold your breath underwater and see if mermaids make logical sense.

The people that are incredibly upset by this are either acting like children who cannot share their toys or like a racist Uncle at Thanksgiving, just waiting for their chance to shine. The casting of a fictional character should not be that big of a deal nor should it be an excuse for copious amounts of hate speech.