Last week, Disney announced the casting of Ariel in the live-action interpretation of The Little Mermaid. This was a decision that mostly well-received, but this is also a decision that has come under fire by a(n admittedly small) group of people who feel that Ariel should be a white redhead instead of black.
But what does voice actress Jodie Benson have to say about the whole thing? Benson, of course, is known for voicing her in the 1980s classic animated movie, and at a recent panel (via DisInsider), she was asked about the casting, here’s what she had to say.
“The important thing for a film is to be able to tell a story. We need to be storytellers, and no matter what we like on the outside…we really need to tell the story. And that’s what we want to do, we want to make a connection to the audience. So I know for Disney that they have the heart of storytelling. That’s really what they’re trying to do. They want to communicate with all of us in the audience so that we can fall in love with the film again.”
Original Ariel voice actress Jodie Benson shares her opinion on the casting of Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney’s live-action adaptation of ‘The Little Mermaid.’ pic.twitter.com/oyp9Eaym0Z
— The DisInsider (@TheDisInsider) July 8, 2019
In short: it doesn’t really matter what color you are. The important aspect is that they are telling the story well, and as long as Disney keeps that focus for the adaptation, they’re likely to help us fall in love with them all over again.
Personally, so long as the character’s identity isn’t embedded in race, I think race-swapping is totally fine to do. In this particular instance, Ariel’s whiteness is not a key component, and therefore, is totally up for switching…but what do you think? Do you agree with Benson? let us know your thoughts down below!
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