But now that the casting has been announced, another actor who reportedly auditioned for the part is speaking out about diversity in the movie's casting. Christian Navarro, who is perhaps best known for his role in Netflix's 13 Reasons Why, is calling out Disney for casting a white actor as Prince Eric, People reported.
Following the announcement, Christian took to social media to express his discontent with Jonah’s casting. “Just came back to say; after months of seeing every person of color they could think of for the role of Prince Eric, @DisneyStudios somehow still cast a white guy. I guess diversity is just a word. And THATS Hollywood. One brown person is enough, two brown leads is unthinkable,” the star reportedly wrote on Twitter.
Shortly after, Christian re-deactivated his Twitter account, but not before voicing frustration cross-platform. “Literally @disney saw a who’s who list of actors of color and STILL went with the white guy. So much for diversity. I guess two brown leads would have tanked the movie right? Boring,” he also reportedly wrote via Instagram stories, according to a fan’s screenshot. Christian’s Instagram still remains active.
The role of Prince Eric was a heavily contested one. After Harry Styles reportedly turned down the part in August, multiple actors — including Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s Gavin Leatherwood — purportedly tossed their hats in the race. Fans also wanted people like Jordan Fisher and members of BTS to take on the role.
Christian reportedly auditioned for the role himself earlier this summer following an outpouring of fan support on social media. “@disney saw this, saw your support, and gave my team a call. They wanted to see what I could do. Tapes sent. Fingers crossed. Let’s make some history," he wrote then. Shortly after, he disclosed he had not gotten the part in another tweet, reportedly writing, "Disney said no. They’d like someone more ‘European.’”
Christian isn’t the only one to not land a role in the adaption after much campaigning. Lizzo had also expressed her hopes of playing Ursula in the film, a role that will most likely go to Melissa McCarthy. The “Good As Hell” singer responded to the news at the time with a single emoji.
Let us slide into your DMs. Sign up for the Teen Vogue daily email.
Want more from Teen Vogue? Check this out: Halle Bailey Said She Doesn’t “Pay Attention to Negativity After Little Mermaid Casting Backlash.
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue