If you thought Halle Bailey cared about folks hating on her playing Ariel in The Little Mermaid, you can think again. The 19-year-old Grown-ish star attended Variety’s 2019 Power of Young Hollywood event Wednesday night and addressed the criticism, saying she pays it no mind.
“I feel like I’m dreaming,” Halle told Variety. “And I’m just grateful. I don’t pay attention to the negativity; I just feel like this role is something bigger than me. And it’s going to be beautiful. I’m just so excited to be a part of it.”
Last month, Bailey officially entered the pantheon of live-action Disney princesses, when she was cast in the titular role of the upcoming adaptation. Initially Bailey’s casting was met with some controversy and trolling online with folks mainly up-in-arms that she was Black and not a Danish make-believe mermaid.
Several people and organizations have since defended her against the backlash, including Disney-owned TV network Freeform which issued an open-letter via Instagram.
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Back on the carpet Bailey’s sister Chloe also cleared up any talk that mentor Beyonce was responsible her nabbing the role.
“I think it’s so beautiful because she allows us to flourish on our own,” Chloe said of Bey who just played Nala in The Lion King. “I’m so proud of my sister for taking this part on her own and making it her own and I’m really excited for her.”
To be clear Bailey is starring in the live action remake, NOT ABC’s upcoming live musical event starring Auli’l Cravalho (“Moana”) as Ariel, Queen Latifah as Ursula and Shaggy as Sebastian the crab.
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