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We are all losers in the “woke anti-racist” Little Mermaid culture

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T.His worst thing about the state of the culture wars is that he has to form an opinion about something that absolutely doesn’t deserve. Exhibit A is Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. By all accounts, this isn’t really a movie that deserves to use a lot of anyone’s brain power. In other times, in cinemas, he’ll run for four weeks and then quietly fade away, never to be considered again.

But this is 2022. That means we have to sift through all the racists before that happens. For the latecomers: The Little Mermaid stars black actor and singer Halle Bailey as Ariel. did not respond to this.

It was revealed this week that the film’s trailer had garnered 1.5 million haters from moviegoers who were outraged that the character was no longer a sexy aquatic white redhead. A Twitter user was suspended for praising Bailey for “fixing” her image to that of a white woman. “wakecels are over”, he wrote Triumphantly, just before the hammer descends.

And like Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings and countless other entertainment properties that have made use of diverse castings in recent times, there has been backlash against backlash. Actress Jodi Benson, who voiced Ariel in the animated Little Mermaid, posted a message on Instagram to support Bailey.

I’m here. It’s now impossible to remain neutral about The Little Mermaid. Either you’re against the idea that mermaids aren’t necessarily white, or you don’t want the racist to win, and you’re excited to see it go off the rails. is. The line being drawn means that the movie’s merits aren’t properly assessed until all the noise has subsided.

And this is the Little Mermaid. If the previous live-action Disney remake is any indication, it hardly even qualifies as a movie. When did you get excited to see Guy Ritchie’s remake of Aladdin, or Tim Burton’s Dumbo? A new live-action Pinocchio just dropped on his Disney+, but he still hasn’t met a single person who can summon even an atom of energy to see it. There are many valid reasons for not wanting to see The Little Mermaid. Focusing on casting mermaids themselves seems like an incredible waste of energy.

To make matters worse, Jon Favreau’s remake of the live-action The Lion King already had a solution that everyone was happy with. The film was full of photorealistic digital animation, so all the original characters’ delightfully exaggerated facial expressions were replaced with unresponsive animals that only slightly opened and closed their mouths. And this is how The Little Mermaid could go. Like the mermaid in the Horniman Museum, let her have her claws and sharp teeth and let her hair go. Let her drag her dung rope behind her at all times, may the acidification of the ocean slowly and painfully poison her. Think of the ruckus that could have been avoided by going that route.