Halle Bailey Is The Perfect New 'Little Mermaid' — But The Disney Casting Choice Caused Major #NotMyAriel Controversy

Get the fast facts on this rising star!

Halle Bailey Is The Perfect New 'Little Mermaid' — But The Disney Casting Choice Caused Major #NotMyAriel Controversy Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

From the minute her casting was announced, her name was on the tip of everybody's tongue. Some people were excited about the casting — but unfortunately, just as many were not. Who is Halle Bailey? 

Let's look at what we know about this rising star. 

1. She's one-half of the R&B duo, Chloe x Halle. 

According to People Magazine, Halle Bailey is one-half of the Chloe x Halle duo, with the other half being her sister, Chloe Bailey. 


“The great thing about being sisters and working together is we can be honest with each other. When we feel like we’re not into something, we can just be like, ‘No, that’s trash, let’s throw it away!’ And then we laugh about it. With somebody new, you would be tiptoeing around trying to tell them that you didn’t like something. It’s kind of fun, just being honest with your sister and making memories,” she told the outlet.



A post shared by chloe x halle (@chloexhalle) on Jul 3, 2019 at 1:56pm PDT

Halle Bailey is one-half of the R&B duo, Chloe x Halle. 


2. Halle Bailey has been targeted by online trolls. 

According to The Root, when Halle Bailey was announced as the new Little Mermaid, online trolls began targeting her with racist comments. To put it another way: people were "big mad" about the casting. 

"The ink had barely dried on Disney’s announcement that Halle Bailey will star in the title role of The Little Mermaid when meteorologists at the White Weather Channel had to issue a flash flood warning because of a sudden deluge of white tears. Disney execs chose one-half of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle, which caused a meltdown in the unseasoned sections of social media platforms because a black person had once again stolen a job from the marginalized group of unmelanated Americans. The hashtag #NotMyAriel immediately began trending on White Twitter," reported the outlet.



A post shared by chloe x halle (@chloexhalle) on Jun 30, 2019 at 6:20pm PDT

Halle Bailey has been targeted by racist trolls.


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3. But other celebrities have congratulated her for the casting. 

Despite the ridiculousness of the online trolls, many other celebrities have come forward to congratulate Halle Bailey on her casting. 

According to Entertainment Weekly, Zendaya was just one of many celebrities that took to social media to wish Halle Bailey well. 

However, in an interesting development, there were a few people who thought that Halle Berry was cast in the role of Ariel, instead. 

"Fellow Disney (and Spider-Man: Far From Home and Euphoria) star Zendaya, who was once rumored to play Ariel, tweeted the casting news saying that she’s here for it. And Bailey herself, from her music group’s account, tweeted that the chance to play Ariel is a dream come true," they wrote.



A post shared by chloe x halle (@chloexhalle) on Jun 20, 2019 at 12:11pm PDT

Zendaya congratulated Halle Bailey for her enviable casting. 

4. She first became famous for doing covers of Beyonce songs. 

According to The Verge, Chloe x Halle first came into the spotlight because they did covers of Beyonce songs on YouTube. The covers were so popular that they caught the attention of the Queen Bey herself.


"She signed both women to her label after discovering their videos, and they’re often described as Queen Bey’s prodigies. There’s an entire catalogue of videos on YouTube showcasing Halle’s talents. For Disney aficionados, these videos provide a perfect way of getting to know Ariel before the movie comes out," the outlet wrote

Congratulations are in order for Halle Bailey, who will surely bring Ariel to life!



A post shared by chloe x halle (@chloexhalle) on May 14, 2019 at 6:01pm PDT

Congratulations on being the new Little Mermaid, Halle Bailey!


Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. For more information about Bernadette Giacomazzo, click here.