Under The New Sea


Alexandria Lewis, Staffer

Disney has decided to make a live remake of the Disney ‘The Little Mermaid.’ The new Ariel will be a black artist, Halle Bailey. There has been controversy about this new remake since they’re now letting Ariel be portrayed as a black woman.

The Little Mermaid can be black.

In the original, the Little Mermaid’s race was never specified. Therefore, being portrayed as a black woman isn’t that big of a problem. In fact, in the cartoon, the only thing that was made clear was that she was a mermaid. The only reason she was portrayed as a white teen was because of the time it was released. At the time, there were no black Disney princesses, so they made her white like every other Disney princess character at the time.

This new Ariel gives young black children a role model in Disney. On ABC news, there have been videos of little black girls reacting to the new Ariel saying, ‘she looks just like me’ and ‘she’s so pretty.’ This excitement shows that young black girls need more representation in the media. The last black Disney princess we had was Tiana and she was a frog for most of the movie. The new Ariel is not harming anyone. Don’t take away a potential role model from young kids. 

The main reason people are saying Ariel can’t be black is because she lives deep in the ocean. However, that is not an accurate assumption. Ariel may have lived in the deep sea, but didn’t stay down there. Let’s not forget that Ariel was fascinated with the surface and tried to observe humans. In The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning, they show how mermaids and mermen used to stay at the surface. That was until Ariel’s mom got murdered by hunters. Nonetheless, Ariel spent all that time at the surface as a kid, pigmentation doesn’t just go away completely. Therefore, that could be a reason why she would have a darker complexion.

This is a mermaid, not a person. The solution to all this controversy is if you don’t want to watch the new live action movie, don’t. In fact, if you don’t want your kids to watch it, don’t. However, don’t try to take away something that the majority wants. This decision to show representation in a live action mermaid is a step in the right direction for Disney.