CNN digital senior entertainment writer Lisa France responded to Daily Wire host Matt Walsh’s scientific objection to having a Black Ariel in Disney’s new live action remake of “The Little Mermaid,” starring Halle Bailey.
In conversation with co-anchor of CNN’s “New Day” Brianna Keilar, France explained the core of bringing up race in occasions such as these after Keilar asked her about the reception from this new Disney princess.
“One of the ugly sides of this though is this isn’t totally well-received,” Keilar said before handing the screen over to France. “Why? Because we see, I mean, the Little Mermaid isn’t real, right? The ‘Star Wars’ characters, they aren’t real. Hobbits, they aren’t real. Why are people, why do — I mean I know why — but you have people who get so upset about these total, it’s not like they’re changing some sort of historical figures, so I just don’t even get it.”
France responded by addressing the reality of racism and pointing out when exactly those who object to the trend of racially diverse characters make the conversation about race, using Daily Wire host Matt Walsh’s recent counterpoint to the situation as an example.
“Racism is real, unfortunately, and people get so offended,” France said. “Those who say we always try to make things about race, people make it about race when they’re online and they’re trying to debate the fact that, ‘Oh, she couldn’t have darker skin because she’s a mermaid and she’s under the water and the sun wouldn’t be able to reach her.’ That’s about race.”
Walsh objected from a “scientific” standpoint, to the Little Mermaid having darker skin, suggesting that her living in the depths of the ocean wouldn’t make that possible.
“With ‘The Little Mermaid’ can we can we also just mention that from a from a scientific perspective, that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have someone with darker skin who lives deep in the ocean?” Walsh said. “Not only should the Little Mermaid be pale, she should actually be translucent. If you look at deep sea creatures or like translucent, they have no kind of pigmentation whatsoever. And they’re just like these horrifying, they look like skeletons floating around in the ocean. That’s what the Little Mermaid should look like. She should be totally pale and skeletal where you can see her skull through her face. And that would actually be a version of Little Mermaid that I would watch.”
After France detailed her reply to Walsh’s words, she projected hope for a world in which racism would fade.
“I just wish people would keep the same energy for racism as they do when they get called out about racism,” she said. “That would be I want to be a part of that world actually.”