CLOSE

Director Rob Marshall said Halle Bailey was the one Ariel played in the remake of The Little Mermaid.
USA TODAY

Hall Bailey has the official seal of approval of the Little Mermaid OG itself, Jodi Benson.

Benson, who developed the role of Ariel in Disney's 1989 animated film, defended singer and actress Bailey on Saturday. The 19-year-old was announced as the star of the upcoming live action adaptation "Little Mermaid" against racist comments.

"I think the most important thing is to tell the story," Benson told fans at pop culture convention Florida Supercon. "As a family, we raised our children, and for ourselves, we do not see anything else outwardly, I think that the spirit of a character is what really matters, what you bring to the table in a character." What really matters is her heart and her mind.

Halle Bailey was cast as Ariel in Disney's forthcoming live action "The Little Mermaid." (Photo: Disney / Getty) [19659009] Many [1945933] fans enjoyed social media last week after Bailey's casting was announced, but others had bad things to say about Disney's election of a new black princess.

Since then, several people and organizations have opposed them

defends backlash, including Disney's own television channel Freeform and Sierra Boggess, which has established Ariel's role in the Broadway adaptation of "The Little Mermaid."

"Okay, I'm so tired, listen again "Boggess tweeted over the weekend." "Smart young women who are tired of swimming, & # 39; willing to stand … & # 39; I hear that this is the cry of EVERY little girl, is not it? "

On Saturday, 57-year-old Benson said, "Let's face it, I'm very, very old. If I'm & # 39; part of your world & # 39; sing, would you judge me The way I look outward could change the way you interpret the song, but if you close your eyes, you can still hear the ghost of Ariel … I know for Disney that they have the heart of storytelling trying to do it. They want to communicate with all of us in the audience, so we can fall in love with the movie again.

Director Rob Marshall said in a Disney release that Bailey was the one who played the role, who then played an "extensive search."

"It was perfectly clear that Halle had this rare combination of spirit, Heart, youth, innocence and substance possess – plus a beautiful singing voice – all the inner qualities necessary to play that iconic role, "Marshall said.

Post: Maeve McDermott, Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY. [19659019] Autoplay

show thumbnails

show captions

Last SlideNext Slide