If you follow Disturbed frontman David Draiman on social media, you know he has a lot of thoughts on politics, society, music and other hot topics. His latest is addressing the “bigots” that have stirred up some unnecessary controversy over Disney casting a Black actress to play the lead role of Ariel in a live-action take on the classic animated film, The Little Mermaid.
On Friday, September 16, the singer posted on his personal Twitter account, “If you have a problem with someone dark skinned playing the role of a fantasy creature like Ariel the mermaid, you’re not really worried about ‘keeping true to the original story,’ you’re just being a bigot.”
Draiman was directly referring to those who have made veiled statements since Disney announced in 2019 that actress and singer Halle Bailey (half of sibling pop duo Chloe x Halle) would be in the lead role, saying that the choice is not in line with the original depiction of the animated character who was seen as a white, red-haired woman.
The conversation took on a life of its own again last week when Disney released the trailer for the film, slated for a theatrical debut in May 2023. Blabbermouth reports that there was so much backlash on the YouTube video page that the beloved brand took the step of disabling the option to dislike it.
Bailey has been focusing on the positive reactions to her casting in the movie, sharing a reel of reaction videos to her Twitter account on September 12 of young Black girls who have been delighting in seeing her in the starring role. As she shared with Hollywood Reporter, “The fact that I get to represent all of these little young black and brown boys and girls who are to come is really special to me because I know that if I had that when I was younger, it would have changed my whole perspective on life.”
Other celebrities and personalities have spoken out about the backlash again this week, including Trevor Noah who addressed it in a piece for “The Daily Show.” CNN Reporter Lisa France also weighed in while CNN posted a “rebuttal to every racist Little Mermaid comment.”
Draiman’s posting on the matter comes at a time he continues to be vocal about socio-political matters, after a period when he was so disheartened by social media (calling it a “playground for trolls”) that he deleted his account back in 2015. But there’s also music moments he shares too, like a retweet today celebrating the 20th anniversary of Disturbed’s second album, Believe.
How 15 Nu-Metal Musicians Felt About Being Called ‘Nu Metal’
They should own it.