Consistently, the upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid has faced racism for its Black lead, Halle Bailey. Josh Gad took to Twitter to call out the racist trolls disliking The Little Mermaid trailer (seen below).
The callout comes in response to a tweet from Twitter user Call to Activism, which posted about how the teaser trailer has 600,000 dislikes. The number is inaccurate as YouTube removed the dislike counter in 2021, but it has still faced racism from people over Bailey’s casting. Josh Gad calls the racist actions against the film from people who are “broken” and “pathetic” for having their “chief concern is the skin color of… a make-believe singing mermaid.”
Josh Gad slams racist trolls hating on The Little Mermaid trailer
Imagine being so broken and pathetic in life that your chief concern is the skin color of… a make-believe singing mermaid. https://t.co/7F6F8LT2b9
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) March 16, 2023
While representation in film and TV is far from perfect, it has seen improvements in recent years. While more shows and films have people of color and people within the LGBT+ community in leading roles than decades prior, it has faced some backlash. Shows like She-Hulk and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power have faced racism and misogyny over having POC and/or women at the forefront of these fantastical stories. Movies have had the same issue, as seen with the Star Wars sequel trilogy and Captain Marvel. Review bombing and filling comment sections with hateful comments has been a routine for bigot viewers.
Little Mermaid will be a part of that push for more diverse casting and crew members to make films, even if racist comments spread online. The remake was directed by Rob Marshall (Mary Poppins Returns). The script was written by David Magee (Mary Poppins Returns) and John DeLuca, who produced Mary Poppins Returns. It will be led by the Grown-ish star and also feature Melissa McCarthy, Javier Bardem, Jonah Hauer-King (A Dog’s Way Home), Noma Dumezweni (Mary Poppins Returns), and Jude Akuwudike (Gangs of London).
The Little Mermaid will swim into theaters on May 26.