After the chatter on social media with hashtags like #NotMyAriel regarding the game-changing casting of Halle Bailey in the live-action "Little Mermaid," Freeform, the network that airs "grown-ish," in which she's featured, had some serious thoughts.
In fact, the network posted an open letter Sunday with the caption, "An open letter to the Poor, Unfortunate Souls."
In the letter, the network took haters to task and stepped up big time for its star.
"Yes. The original author of 'The Little Mermaid' was Danish. Ariel ... is a mermaid," the post began. "She lives in an underwater kingdom in international waters and can legit swim wherever she wants."
For the sake of the online arguments from a certain segment of "Little Mermaid" fans, the post made an argument following the assumption that Ariel is actually Danish.
"Danish mermaids can be black because Danish *people* can be black," it continued. "Ariel can sneak up to the surface anytime with her pals Scuttle and the *ahem* Jamaican crab Sebastian ... and keep that bronze base tight. Black Danish people, and thus mer-folk, can also *genetically* have red hair."
The post, absolutely dripping with sarcasm, then hammered home the real purpose of the message, to support the young actress and tell folks Ariel is a work of fiction.
"So after all this is said and done, and you still cannot get past the idea that choosing the incredible, sensational, highly-talented, gorgeous Halle Bailey is anything other than the INSPIRED casting that it is because she 'doesn't look like the cartoon one,' oh boy, do I have some news for you ... about you," it closed, adding the hashtag #MyAriel.
In addition to her acting work, Bailey is one-half of the singing group Chloe X Halle. The duo released their first album, "The Kids Are Alright," in 2018, were nominated for two Grammy Awards, and went on tour with Beyoncé and Jay-Z.
The live-action retelling of the animated classic will be directed by Rob Marshall and will feature songs from the animated version by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as new songs by Menken and producer Lin-Manuel Miranda.
"After an extensive search, it was abundantly clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance — plus a glorious singing voice — all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role," Marshall said in a statement.
Shortly after the announcement, Chloe x Halle posted an illustration from artist Dylan Bonner to Twitter with the caption, "Dream come true."
dream come true... 🧜🏽♀️🌊 pic.twitter.com/sndjYUS6wO— chloe x halle (@chloexhalle) July 3, 2019
Bonner created the illustration in 2015 after a friend commissioned the sketch for his girlfriend for Valentine's Day. Since Bailey posted the artwork, however, Bonner told "Nightline" that "it's sort of taken on this whole [meaning] that's, like, way bigger than me or her or the initial project because now it's like I feel no ownership to that picture...it belongs to everyone else."
"The fact that kids are now able to...see themselves in it," he continued, "or see a little fairy dust in the part of their lives where they didn’t get to see it before, and that is being tied to the image I created, that’s really exciting."
ABC News and Freeform are both part of parent company Disney.