By Trevin Lund and Lillian Gissen and Kelsi Karruli for Dailymail.Com
07:27 PM 18 Mar 2023, update 07:46 PM 18 Mar 2023
Josh Gad has condemned “pathetic” trolls who didn’t like the upcoming live-action adaptation trailer for The Little Mermaid.
Ever since Disney announced Halle Bailey’s casting in July 2019, the network has faced a backlash online after making strides to become more inclusive in recent years.
The negative response to the film’s official trailer – the first real preview of the film – was so severe that YouTube turned off the dislike counter after hitting over 1.5 million in two days.
Gad, who has previously starred in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Frozen, took to Twitter on Thursday to write, “Imagine being so broken and pathetic in life that your main concern is your skin color. …an imaginary singing siren”. ‘
Disney has taken many steps to become more comprehensive recently — it included a gay kiss between two female characters in the Lightyear movie and cast Halley as a black Ariel in its upcoming live-action version of the beloved film.
The 22-year-old actress commented on the backlash when she told Variety that her grandparents offered her words of encouragement and reminded her how important her role in the film would be.
‘It was an inspiring and beautiful thing to hear their words of encouragement, saying to me, “You don’t understand what this does for us, for our community, for all the little black and brown girls who are going to see themselves in you,” the Atlanta native told the outlet.
Bailey said seeing the iconic character of Ariel as a person of color when she was growing up would have had a positive impact on her self-esteem.
“What it would have done for me, how it would have changed my confidence, my self-confidence, everything,” the Grown-ish star said. “Things that seem so small to everyone else are so big to us.”
Many online attacks aimed at Disney have been tinged with racism over the decision to cast a black woman as the fictional character, who has been widely portrayed as white in previous pop culture offerings, including Disney’s popular cartoon of 1989.
One Twitter user said: “If Disney wants more diversity, they should have created another character…Before respecting all other ethnicities and cultures, shouldn’t they at least be respectful of origin???# pasmyariel.’
While others said “race swapping is not acceptable” and claimed the film was “a waste of money”.
Disney has gone to great lengths to become more inclusive — changing park policy to prevent staff from using gender-specific greetings, implementing an anti-racism training course for employees, giving former characters makeovers progressives and removing offensive imagery from rides and movies – however, some people feel the company has gone too far in its woke changes.
One such person is billionaire investor Nelson Peltz, who recently declared war on corporate “overspending and mismanagement”.
And while many have praised the company for its change in direction, the question has lingered in recent months whether they have gone too far with the changes it has implemented recently – from dressing Minnie Mouse in a business suit -pants slapped with a racism warning in front of their old films.
In January 2022, Disney launched a new “woke” look for Minnie Mouse, which saw the beloved character ditching her signature red polka dot dress in favor of a “progressive” blue pantsuit designed by Stella McCartney.
However, the move sparked an online outcry, and within minutes of the tweet’s posting, dozens of users began expressing outrage at the iconic mouse’s style change, as her signature red and white dress had become a staple of the character.