Disney is squeezing more blood from a creative stone with its upcoming live-action version of The Little Mermaid. These zombie movies make a crap ton of money, so we can't blame Disney for cashing the checks. However, the usual gang of racist idiots are freaking out because Disney cast a Black woman as Ariel, the titular mermaid, and apparently that defies all known mermaid science. Mermaids — like Santa Claus, elves, and Megyn Kelly — are exclusively white. When you look at mermaid fossils at the Natural History Museum, do you see any afros?

Here's the teaser trailer for the 2023 film. Halle Bailey, an American Black woman, looks great as Ariel, an imaginary Black mermaid.


When Bailey was originally cast as Ariel, there were complaints that this denied redheaded girls a role model. First place, Ariel sucks as a role model because she's an airhead who makes crap deals with octopus witches. Also, more Black women with natural red hair exist than there are redheaded mermaids.



A perfectly sane and rational person on Twitter declared that "Ariel is white. Mermaids are white. You know why? Because they f*cking live DEEP UNDERWATER. You know what doesn't reach there? THE SUN. Idiots."

He's really committed to this mermaid science. That's probably a worse field of study than basket weaving and lesbian dance theory. Baskets and dancing lesbians actually exist. Let's walk through this, shall we? Ariel sings underwater and somehow speaks English. The only clothing she wears is a bra even though she's technically a fish and shouldn't have perky mermaid breasts. She is physically attracted to a human man despite the laws of nature. Did we mention the goddamn octopus drag queen witch who can turn mermaids into people with common household items?

If the only thing you find implausible about this story is Ariel's Black skin, then yes, you are a racist.


Let's move on to another empty shell of a man, who spent time from his finite existence deep-faking footage from the teaser trailer. Another loser shared an image from Operation: Make Ariel White Again!

He tweeted:

Credits to our memer Artificial Intelligence scientist @TenGazillion IQ.

He fixed The Little Mermaid, and turned the woke actor into a ginger white girl.

OK, so "woke" just means Black now? Good to know.

He says he can ... fix the whole movie when it comes out with 4X A6000 in 24 hours.

It's over for wokecels.

No, it's "over" for anyone who fucks with Disney's intellectual property. His account was suspended.

Ironically, turning Ariel into something she's not is what the villain of the movie does. That's my big issue with The Little Mermaid. The supposed "happy ending" has Ariel abandon mermaid society and fully assimilate into her pasty-faced boyfriend's world. Her own culture is presented as something she "outgrows." She's not necessarily any freer as Prince Eric's wife than she was as King Triton's daughter.

In Hans Christian Andersen's original story, becoming human is excruciatingly painful for Ariel. Every step she takes with her human legs is like walking on sharp knives. And while a soul is every other human's birthright, Ariel can only receive one through the conditional approval of a human man. There is perhaps no better metaphor for cultural assimilation.

Ariel has the chance to become a mermaid again but she'd have to kill the prince, who'd rejected her. Instead, she sacrifices herself and becomes an "ethereal earthbound spirit" who can eventually earn a soul if she spends the next 300 years performing good deeds for humans. That's still a better deal than the Three-Fifths Compromise.

Disney slapped a "happy ending" on what is otherwise a "Twilight Zone" episode. You can almost hear Rod Serling's narration during Anderson's original ending.

After the teaser trailer dropped, rightwing podcaster and professional Internet troll Matt Walsh whined, "Hollywood changes traditionally white characters into Black while claiming that the reverse would be ‘Black erasure.’ What this tells us is that, by their own admission, they are engaged in white erasure. And it’s just that we aren’t supposed to notice or complain."

What the math whiz doesn't grasp is that there are still very few major roles for Black women. Casting a white woman as the lead in a live-action Princess and the Frog would in fact erase the only original Black Disney princess. It's almost impossible to erase white women from Disney movies.

The live-action Little Mermaid doesn't come out until May 2023 so we have almost a full year of curiously mermaid-obsessed white guys making fools of themselves. Let's end on a more positive note.


[The Daily Beast]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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