There Was ‘No Agenda’ When Casting Halle Bailey In ‘The Little Mermaid,’ The Movie’s Director Insists

After Grammy-award-winning singer and songwriter HER’s (real name Gabriella Wilson) performance as Belle in Beauty And The Beast: A 30th Celebration television event, Disney lovers are counting down the days until the live adaption of The Little Mermaid hits theaters. The film starring Halle Bailey in the title role of Ariel is slated to be released in the spring of next year.

Over the years, Disney and its child company, Pixar, have made strides to center more diverse stories and actors throughout its films. Unfortunately, not everyone was pleased with this decision. Seeing a regal underwater mermaid with dreadlocks pushed some over the edge.

Although the “Do It” singer has avoided the negative comments, only addressing the pressures of stepping into the role, many other industry professionals have come out to publicly support her, including Encanto director Lin-Manuel Miranda and now, The Little Mermaid director Rob Marshall.

In an interview with EW, Marshall clapped back at naysayers claiming Bailey was only cast to appease the “woke community” or to meet a diversity quota. When asked about Bailey’s casting, Marshall replied, “We just were looking for the best actor for the role, period. The end. We saw everybody and every ethnicity. The goal was to find someone who can be incredibly strong, passionate, beautiful, smart, clever, and with a great deal of fire and joy.”

Marshall stressed there was “no agenda” behind Bailey’s casting.

For upset about Halle Bailey’s upcoming appearance in The Little Mermaid, you may want to brace yourself as her big sister Chloe Bailey has verbalized her desire to play Storm from X-Men.