Disney's 'The Little Mermaid' Casts 'Grown-ish' Actress Halle Bailey As Ariel

Maybe it's time to start giving Disney a little more credit, because they are certainly courting controversy with this move. Casting has been moving rapidly on their live-action The Little Mermaid, but one role that had yet to be filled was that of Ariel, arguably the toughest part to cast. Well, today Disney has announced that Grown-ish actress Halle Bailey will play the mermaid who sacrifices everything for the love of a human.

Yep, this means Ariel will be played by a woman of color. Cue the outrage by the racist trolls who will probably start a bunch of online petitions with threats of boycotts or whatever. Who cares? Fuck those haters. Disney is making a bold move casting a black woman in a role that has always been depicted as white. Ariel's deep red hair was such an identifying characteristic it will be interesting to see if this newer version has just as distinctive a look.

Bailey is best known for her recurring role on ABC's spinoff Grown-ish, but she's also one-half of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle,  a skill that will definitely be put to good use. Rob Marshall is directing, with brand new songs crafted by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alan Menken. The rest of the cast includes Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Awkwafina as Scuttle, and Jacob Tremblay as Flounder.