Josh Gad as the ‘little mermaid’ wades in ‘pathetic’ racist waves over Halle Bailey

Olaf and LeFou have waded into the heated waters of The Little Mermaid.

Frozen and live-action Beauty and the Beast star Josh Gad on Thursday called out the “pathetic” people who disliked the latest trailer for Disney’s The Little Mermaid remake, especially the poor unfortunate souls who still couldn’t get over R&B singer Halle Bailey, who plays the titular princess Ariel.

“Imagine being so broken and pathetic in life that your main concern is the skin color of … a fake singing mermaid,” the actor said wrote on Twitterby retweeting a Call to Activism post stating that The Little Mermaid trailer “is currently ‘disliked’ en masse by MAGA racists on YouTube.”

The full trailer that made waves during the Oscars on Sunday has been viewed on Youtube more than 8.5 million times. It has garnered 191,000 likes but was “disliked” more than 300,000 times, according to the Call to Activism post, and faced a tsunami of comments denouncing the special effects-laden production. (The teaser trailer Disney released in September was reportedly disliked 3 million times.)

“The important thing about the controversy surrounding Halle Bailey’s casting is that we remember that a beautiful and talented actress won the role. We cannot allow racism to ever be normalized,” the post said.

Halle Bailey (left) as Ariel and Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.

(Disney / Disney Company)

In fact, the Chloe x Halle singer has faced a barrage of racist remarks since her casting announced in 2019. #NotMyAriel started trending and people complained that the studio chose a black actor to play a character who appeared white in the 1989 animated classic.

“As a black person you just expect it and it’s not really a shock anymore,” she told The Face in February. The siren “Do It” and “Ungodly Hour,” a mentee of music powerhouse BeyoncĂ©, has managed to soar above the comments, focusing on the positive aspects of the on-screen portrayal.

“I know people say, ‘It’s not about race.’ But now that I am her. …People don’t understand that there’s this whole different community when you’re black,” the 22-year-old performer said. “It’s so important for us to see ourselves.”

Racist flotsam and jetsam aside, Bailey has already received a seal of approval from Jodi Benson, who voiced the rebellious sea princess in the original musical. In September, the prolific voice actor said Bailey gave a “beautiful performance as Ariel,” calling her “stunning.” Instagram. And West Side Story star Rachel Zegler, a Latina who will play Snow White in an upcoming Disney remake, has tried, too Drown out naysayers by replying to it their double backlash with “If you don’t support my girl Halle, who is the perfect Ariel, don’t support any of us.”

Bailey has since accepted the role: Advertisement for the fashion doll She embraced her Ariel appearance, spoke fondly about the music on the Oscars red carpet and teased the film’s trailer with co-star Melissa McCarthy during the 95th Academy Awards. McCarthy plays Ursula in the upcoming film.

As for Gad, it’s not the first time the outspoken actor has navigated a controversy over an updated Disney film. The ‘History of the World: Part II’ star played Gaston’s long-suffering sidekick LeFou in Bill Condon’s 2017 remake of Beauty and the Beast, a character believed to be Disney’s first openly gay character whose feelings for his sidekick are attributed to an “all gay moment” in the film. But the actor said he “regrets” how the blink-and-miss moment played out.

“We haven’t gone far enough to warrant awards,” he said The Independent last year. “We didn’t go far enough to say, ‘Look how brave we are.’

“I regret what happened that it became ‘Disney’s first openly gay moment’ and it was never intended. It should never be a moment to praise ourselves for because honestly I don’t think we live up to what a real gay character in a Disney movie should be.”

Directed by Oscar-nominated director Rob Marshall (Mary Poppins Returns, Chicago, Nine), The Little Mermaid features four new songs written by Alan Menken, who won two Oscars for the music of the original won film and Hamilton writer Lin-Manuel Miranda (Moana, Encanto, Mary Poppins Returns).

Also starring are Javier Bardem as King Triton, Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder and Awkwafina as Scuttle. It hits theaters May 26.

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