Disney's The Little Mermaid and Halle Bailey (Photo credit: Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

(Photo credit: Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Disney's Freeform Supports Halle Bailey's Ariel Casting Amid Backlash

July 8, 2019

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Disney-owned cable network has taken aim at critics who disagreed with the decision to cast Halle Bailey as Ariel in the upcoming adaption of "The Little Mermaid."

Freeform posted an open letter on Sunday in support of Bailey after some on social media used the hashtag #NotMyAriel to object to a black woman portraying the red-headed mermaid princess of the animated film. But the network says "Danish mermaids can be black because Danish (asterisk)people(asterisk) can be black."

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Bailey is known for being half of the sister duo Chloe x Halle. She will star in the live-action version that will include songs from the 1989 animated Disney hit as well as new tunes from original composer Alan Menken and "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Related: See Halle Berry’s Reaction to People Thinking She’s Starring in ‘The Little Mermaid’

Bailey will join Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina in the film.