Weekly Gripe #1: The Little Mermaid: A Lesson In Racism From A Mythological Character
Updated: Oct 1
When I first saw this trailer a couple of weeks ago, I knew I'd be writing a blog or doing a Weekly Gripe about it because I saw the backlash coming. I just didn't know it was going to be to the capacity of hate I saw. During my research I saw worse. Especially for a mythological creature. Then it took a second for me to realize this is just another day for Black America. This time, however, I brought in other opinions. I asked help from my brother Author/Screenwriter Marlon McCaulsky, my sister, Shannan Harper and Hard Drive Publishing's youngest superstar Author Eddy 'D.
“She is a remarkable young woman in every moment, how she is on set, how she is as a person and I burst out crying,” said Actress Melissa McCarthy (who plays Ursula in the movie) during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live. She goes on to say, “And now I realize, now she’s thinking, ‘There’s a really old woman in front of me crying and this is weird.’ But I couldn’t get it together.”
"Halle, you were absolutely amazing!" praised Actress Jodi Benson, the original Little Mermaid actress who lent her voice to Ariel in the successful animated film. She wrote this next to a picture of Halle Bailey and Director Rob Marshall on Instagram Story. Before praising her long friendship, the actress writes to Bailey, "I'm SO proud of you and your beautiful performance as Ariel!"
Wait until the racists find out R&B Artist H.E.R will be playing Belle in a live version of Beauty & The Beast on ABC in December.
Watch the video and check out what my brother and sister have to say.
Watch the video and click their links.
Get To Know Marlon McCaulsky's Full Feelings
1) When you first saw that there was a new Ariel, what was your first reaction?
I wasn’t really excited at first. For one I knew that Disney was remaking all their animated films, live-action so it was only a matter of time before they got to the Little Mermaid. Plus, I never watched the original, so I was like, okay whatever. But once it was announced that Halle Bailey would be Ariel, I knew that was a game changer.
2) When did you first start hearing racist rumblings throughout the internet & beyond? What were some of your first responses?
I thought it was ridiculous that grown men were upset about a fictional character. But I knew it was coming. Certain people get intimated when change happens. Especially when Black people are put in leading roles. I’ve seen hate groups formed online calling themselves, Christians Against The Little Mermaid (Halle Bailey). The fact that you want to call yourselves Christians and you believe that Mermaids are real and only white says a lot about your mental stability.
3) Any final words on this situation (anything you want to say).
These are all fictional made up creatures, made for kids. Get over it.
4) Finally tell me about your latest project and send me your latest book cover and your other current projects covers you have out?
Our Film production company, Creative Genius Films have a new short film coming out called Ladies Night: 2077. Born from the creative vision of filmmaker Lamont Gant (RETURNED), this visually stunning sci-fi/fantasy short film, set in a future world where people are enhanced with technology, follows a young businesswoman named Serenity (Amandah Rochelle) determined to spend a night out with three of her closest girlfriends who live in different parts of the world - street smart Lyric [Asia Jae], outspoken Sezen [Kiya Jefferson], and off-world ZIN [Morgan Roberts]. In a high-tech future soured by urban and social decay, Serenity uses her unique form of transportation to bring her and her friends together for an adventure around the world. Co-written by Marlon McCaulsky
Coming soon! (Click The Picture To Check Out Marlon's Website)
Get To Know Shannan Harper's Full Feelings
1) How excited for you when you found out there was an African-American lead for the Little Mermaid when it was first advertised?
I was born in the 70's and grew up in the 80's and 90's where we never saw a lot of us being represented in anything shown in the media. I'm not a fantasy fan, but I am so excited to be able to see this
2) Are there any little girls in your life excited to see the movie just as you are?
Most of my friends’ kids are grown, but I'm sure everyone in my circle is excited to see this
3) What was your first reaction to the hate surrounding Halle Bailey’s role?
Saddened that it's still happening in 2022, but totally not surprised.
4) You shared a disturbing page on Facebook that racists created called Christians Against The Little Mermaid to bring awareness and to show your disdain for the hate. Give me your honest opinion in your uncensored words, how this makes you feel.
Again, it's one of those things that I’m saddened, but not surprised. They had a group like that when The Black Panther Came out. I especially despise the fact that they keep putting the word Christian in front of it. From the pictures I've seen of the posts, nothing they're saying screams Christian to me. These are the same ones that their ancestors probably used the bible to justify slavery and I'm sure they have some ties to evangelical white Christians, and we've seen just in the past couple of years how they really feel like us. It also shows us that the I don't see color crowd was just using that as an excuse to further perpetuate their hate and disdain for us. It makes me glad I'm very selective in the non bipoc authors I choose to support.
5) What are you hopes for the movie, the movement for us, and those hating it?
I have hopes that as a part of the bipoc community, we can continue to have more diversity in media for all of us. For those hating it, well, they can kick rocks with no shoes on, disrespectfully.
6) Do you plan to see the movie when it comes out? Yes, I do, and I'm kinda hoping it will show on Disney plus (I'm an introvert, so a crowded movie theatre is not my cup of tea, but I will sit in a theatre if it doesn't come on Disney plus. I'm just ready to see it.)
7) Are you working on anything personally you’d like to share (new books, blogs, anything you’d want to advertise etc.). Right now, just working on getting these older arc's read and reviews done so I can continue to support black and other bipoc/marginalized authors.
After getting settled in her career, she was able to take trips to meet some of her favorite authors and was able to cultivate lifelong friendships. After the promoting of a couple of author friends, as well as God, Shannan started her blog, Harper's Court Literary Blog in January of 2017. It is her hope that her blog will give a greater voice to authors of color. something that seems to be lacking in mainstream publishing. She tries to promote not only on her blog, but social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. (Click The Picture To Access Shannan's Blog.)
Click The Link To Buy Eddy 'D's Book The Awesome Times. Then Check Out Her Interview Right Here On The Insider.