RECENTLY, some controversy was sparked over Disney Korea’s marketing strategy for the live-action Disney film The Little Mermaid. Netizens took issue with how the film was being presented to audiences.

They claimed that Disney Korea’s advertisements were blatant in hiding Halle Bailey as the lead actress and instead looked to be promoting NEWJEANS’ member Danielle, who is the voice actress for Ariel in the Korean dub.

This is evident when there were countless online community posts that showed the promotional kiosks for The Little Mermaid featured Danielle instead of Bailey. There were also TV commercials that promoted Danielle’s music video for the movie’s theme song Part of Your World instead of the actual film.

Bailey made history back in 2019 when she was cast as the first Black actress to play Ariel. Some fans were quite outspoken in their dislike of her casting, which they showed by commenting on various The Little Mermaid content.

Director Rob Marshall spoke against the negativity, saying: “I didn’t think that it was a big deal, casting a woman of colour. I thought, ‘That’s an archaic way to see the world’.”

He added: “When that controversy arose, from narrow-minded people, I thought, ‘Wow, that really feels like it’s coming from another century. Are we really still there?’”.

The recent complaints have also highlighted how Bailey was shown in silhouette in Disney Korea’s official trailer thumbnails which differed greatly from Walt Disney Studios’ in which she was the centre of the shot.

This controversy itself garnered mixed opinions, and while it’s all valid, Bailey is undoubtedly a great casting for Ariel, as proven by Marshall.