On September 9, Walt Disney Studios presented a trailer for The Little Mermaid starring Halle Bailey of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle. Apparently, at least one person thought the movie featured Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry in the lead role.
“Halle Berry is nearly 60 years old playing the role of a 16-year-old girl. This is what happens when you upset a fandom,” wrote a Twitter user. A supposed screenshot of the likes-to-dislike ratio for The Little Mermaid teaser on YouTube accompanied that since-deleted tweet.
In response, the 56-year-old Halle Berry posted a meme of fellow Oscar winner Mo’Nique from VH1’s Charm School reality television series. The three women in the image appear to be disinterested, annoyed, or confused.
In December 2021, Halle Berry also responded to another Twitter user who mistakenly thought she was playing Ariel in The Little Mermaid reboot. Since the announcement of the Rob Marshall-directed film, Berry has expressed support for Halle Bailey and the forthcoming motion picture.
“This means so much! Can’t wait @HalleBailey 👏🏽💕💕,” tweeted Halle Barry on the day The Little Mermaid trailer landed online. On September 9, Bailey also tweeted, “Today has been so overwhelming and incredible. ♥️ I’m so happy you’re getting to see a peek of everything 😭thank you for the love…🐚✨.”
Disney plans to release the new version of The Little Mermaid on May 26, 2023. In addition to Halle Bailey, the cast includes Jonah Hauer-King as Eric, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Javier Bardem as King Triton, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, and Awkwafina as Scuttle.
Some racist online trolls have targeted Halle Bailey for portraying Ariel in the live-action The Little Mermaid. The casting decision seemed to upset some people because the Hans Christian Andersen-created character was Caucasian in the original fairy tale.