‘A botanical paradise with spectacular views’: The hotel you need to visit on your next trip to Cork
‘A botanical paradise with spectacular views’: The hotel you need to visit on your next...

Shayna Sappington

‘I’m an obstetrician who became pregnant with twins via an egg donor. This month they turn 5’
‘I’m an obstetrician who became pregnant with twins via an egg donor. This month they...

Amanda Cassidy

Period dramas on Netflix and Amazon Prime to watch while we wait for ‘The Crown’
Period dramas on Netflix and Amazon Prime to watch while we wait for ‘The Crown’

Erin Lindsay

The world’s most sustainable travel spots revealed
The world’s most sustainable travel spots revealed

Amanda Cassidy

Indoor Halloween activities for kids to get you through the mid-term
Indoor Halloween activities for kids to get you through the mid-term

Lauren Heskin

Planning a festive trip to London this year? These hotels really know how to do Christmas
Planning a festive trip to London this year? These hotels really know how to do...

Sarah Finnan

16 great prints and posters to add some life to your walls
16 great prints and posters to add some life to your walls

Megan Burns

‘Mummy has cancer’: How to talk to children about a parent’s diagnosis
‘Mummy has cancer’: How to talk to children about a parent’s diagnosis

Amanda Cassidy

15 dogs who are costume-ready for Halloween
15 dogs who are costume-ready for Halloween

Grace McGettigan

Bringing unsexy back: putting the freaky back into Halloween
Bringing unsexy back: putting the freaky back into Halloween

Jessie Collins

Image / Editorial

Why was there no backlash about ‘The Little Mermaid’s Prince Eric casting rumours?


by Jennifer McShane
13th Aug 2019
The Little Mermaid

Rumours were rife on Tuesday night that Disney’s live-action remake of ‘The Little Mermaid’ had cast its Prince Eric in the form of Harry Styles. Reports now say that Styles was offered the role but turned it down. The initial reaction was a far-cry to #NotMyAriel which emerged when Halle Bailey was cast in the leading role.


When news emerged that singer-actress Halle Bailey, who with her sister forms R&B duo Chloe x Halle, had nabbed the starring role in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, and will play the role of Ariel, the rebellious daughter of King Triton who longs to live on dry land, reaction was far from muted.

Some expressed delight at the casting choice. However, many expressed unhappiness; #NotMyAriel trended almost instantly.

Related: The Little Mermaid: Fans predict who’ll play the role of Prince Eric 

Director Rob Marshall said when describing the casting, that she was an ideal choice. “After an extensive search, it was abundantly clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance — plus a glorious singing voice — all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role.”

And despite denials, the reason her casting didn’t go down well with so many seems to come down to one factor: In Disney’s 1989 animated film, Ariel is a Caucasian redhead, while Bailey is a woman of colour.

This isn’t news to those who regularly monitor cultural conversations that emerge around film and television. You heard it when Zendaya was cast as MJ in Spider-Man: Homecoming, for example.

It seems impossible to ignore and more so now, especially with the reaction to the potential news that Styles had been cast. He fit what was expected. Just like the original animation.

There are few tweets about childhoods being ruined – something that many bemoaned originally – with the idea of Styles as a prince. In fact, there were none upon a first search.

Given that The Little Mermaid deals with themes that are universal – it’s a noticeable and great shame that the reaction isn’t similar.

In fact, the backlash has so far only been geared one way.

It’s clear that many pay lip service to what is an attempt to diversify what we see on screen but go the other way when this is actioned.

We must do better.

Main photograph: @lostinela

Also Read

Mandy Moore pumping
EDITORIAL
Mandy Moore climbed an active volcano at dawn… while pumping

Hiking a mountain and breast pumping – now, that’s what we call multitasking at its finest. Mandy Moore enjoyed an...

By Sarah Finnan

Keith-_-Tara_130_Web Shantanu Starick painting kitchen cabinets
EDITORIAL
How to limit drips and brush strokes while painting kitchen cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets can be transformative and can be achieved relatively low-cost, but you need the right equipment, and a lot of...

By Amanda Kavanagh

blank
EDITORIAL
Trinity Tales: ‘Front Square was her garden, and the city was her playground’

Annie Gatling, now Colleran, knew Trinity College was for her when she saw Front Gate from the top storey of...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
No, the Olympics haven’t given athletes ‘anti-sex’ cardboard beds

Despite some media coverage, the beds are actually focused on sustainability as opposed to intimacy restrictions. Recently, distance runner Paul...

By Jennifer McShane

houseplants
EDITORIAL
5 houseplants we guarantee you can keep alive

For those who buy houseplants with the best of intentions and end up killing them, here’s a selection you’ll be...

By Hannah Hillyer

brain
EDITORIAL
8 easy ways to keep your brain healthy that you can do right now

Your brain health is just as important as that of the rest of your body, says psychologist and neuroscientist Dr...

By IMAGE

blank
EDITORIAL
Attending multiple weddings this year? How to save money as a guest

These days, going to a wedding is the equivalent of going on a short holiday in terms of cost. From...

By Jennifer McShane