‘The Little Mermaid’: Rob Marshall reacted to the racial casting backlash of his movie

The Little Mermaid director Rob Marshall already accepted that colorblind casting was a reality in today’s society.

The live-action “Little Mermaid” director revealed he was shocked to see parents of Black children share their reactions on social media after the first look at Halle Bailey as Ariel went viral.

In order to impress a young man who hasn’t stood the test of time, the female in the movie gives up her voice, changes her look, and leaves everything behind. The movie will also include the original songs from the 1989 cartoon hit as well as brand-new tunes written by Lin Manuel Miranda of Hamilton and Alan Menken.


Rob Marshall in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly shared his thoughts on the backlash that he received for casting the black woman in the role of the little mermaid. The filmmaker says, “I wasn’t anticipating that because, in a way, I felt like we’ve moved so far past that kind of thing. But then you realize, in a way we haven’t. It was very moving to me to see how important this kind of casting is for the world.”

Marshall added that there was “no agenda” to casting Bailey as Ariel, other than the fact that she had a stellar singing voice and a “great deal of fire and joy” as a performer. He added “We just were looking for the best actor for the role, period. The end,” Marshall said. “We saw everybody and every ethnicity.”

He further says, “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.”

The Disney+ movie will arrive in cinemas on May 23, 2023.

Anoosha Khan
Anoosha Khan

Anoosha Khan is a film critic and entertainment editor based in the UK. She has been reporting about celebs and movies for WatchinUK for the past year.

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