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The Little Mermaid Trailer Just Reached An Unfortunate Milestone

A vocal (and toxic) minority of the Disney fandom is making it clear that the live-action adaptation of "The Little Mermaid" won't be part of their world anytime soon. For the company, revisiting classic storylines in this format is nothing new. "Harry Potter" star Emma Watson transformed into Belle in 2017's "Beauty and the Beast," while Tom Hanks took on Geppetto for the newly-released "Pinocchio." But neither update caused an uproar among the fans quite like "The Little Mermaid." Wonder why ... ?

It's been just over a year since Disney announced the film, which is set to drop in May 2023. Portraying the iconic undersea princess is Halle Bailey, who you can catch on Freeform's "Grown-ish" or as part of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle. According to Variety, Anika Noni Rose, voice of Tiana in 2009's "The Princess and the Frog," is the only other Black actress to play a Disney princess, so the casting is certainly historic.

Since the official teaser trailer's release, videos have gone viral of young Black girls expressing their excitement over this profound act of representation. In fact, at the recent D23 expo in Anaheim, California, Bailey received a standing ovation from the audience. A longtime fan of the 1989 original, she told Variety, "I want the little girl in me and the little girls just like me who are watching to know that they're special and that they should be a princess in every single way. There's no reason that they shouldn't be. That reassurance was something that I needed."

Enter: the trolls. Anger toward "The Little Mermaid" ultimately earned the YouTube trailer an ignominious distinction, though fortunately not one that's likely to impact the success of the project. 

The trailer for The Little Mermaid has surpassed 1 million dislikes

It's been less than a week since the release of the official teaser trailer, which shows a brief clip of Halle Bailey swimming through the ocean. The trailer concludes with her perched on a rock singing the iconic tune "Part of Your World."

Though YouTube has disabled the ability for the average user to see the number of dislikes on a video, certain extensions make this number visible again. YouTuber Ryan Kinel, who has access to this function, announced that the trailer for "The Little Mermaid" hit 1 million dislikes ... and the number is only increasing. Regarding video likes, this number sits at approximately 625,000.

The comment section is flooded with racist remarks from those who feel Ariel should be played by a white actress. But through all of the negativity, Bailey has a rather important supporter in her corner – Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel in the animated classic. After meeting Bailey at the D23 Expo, Benson said on her Instagram Story, as reported by Entertainment Weekly, "Halle, you were absolutely amazing! I'm SO proud of you and your beautiful performance as Ariel!"

There are also many fans who don't see what all the fuss is about, mainly because "The Little Mermaid" isn't exactly inspired by true events. @Lanchitamylove tweeted, "Why are you angry she's black? She's a fish. You are being racist. To a FISH." @ZollmanEric added, "If you're mad the little mermaid is black, you do realize that she wouldn't be white either right? She would be all bloaty and scaled like a fish."

Logic — the bane of every racist commenter's existence.