The Little Mermaid Backlash Leads to ‘Whitewashing’ Ariel with AI. Twitter is Furious.

Halle Bailey's Ariel has been turned "white" by AI, and Twitter is furious.

The Little Mermaid live-action trailer reveal has sparked all kinds of controversy all over the internet. The Little Mermaid trailer has been massively downvoted on YouTube, and some Disney fans are taking issue with the traditionally red-haired, blue-eyed Ariel being played by a Black actress, Halle Bailey.

The casting choice for Ariel initially sent waves across the sea to China, where the aquatic princess is apparently a favorite. Having a dark-skinned Ariel did not go over well with many Chinese people, however. So a Chinese user decided to “fix” Ariel and make her white. And the internet reacted just as you would expect.

Twitter, in particular, was up in arms about the ‘fix.’ However, it didn’t stop with just one attempt.

Another user (@TenGazillionIQ) trolled Twitter by using AI to make yet another white version of Ariel. And apparently got banned or put in Twitter jail because of it.

On one hand, a young actress shouldn’t be harassed because of the color of her skin. On the other hand, Disney knew exactly what would happen if they race-swapped Ariel. However, it’s doubtful that they had anticipated just how unpopular that decision would be.

Weirdly, we haven’t seen much at all of the movie. Halle Bailey obviously has the singing ability for Ariel, but can Melissa McCarthy pull off a campy villian as iconic as Ursula?

The irony in all of this is that the debate about the casting choice for The Little Mermaid will probably be much more interesting than the movie itself, if Pinocchio is any indication of the quality of Disney’s live-action remakes.

[Hat Tip: Forbes]
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