Halle Bailey

While the studio has yet to respond to the bigoted backlash over last week’s announcement of the casting of Halle Bailey as Ariel in the upcoming live action production of “The Little Mermaid,” Freeform, a Disney-owned TV network, issued a scathing statement on Sunday defending the decision. The African-American singer/actress, who is also half of the sibling R&B duo Chloe x Halle, stars on the network’s series “Grown-ish.”

In an Instagram post entitled, “An open letter to the Poor, Unfortunate Souls,” Freeform wrote that while Hans Christian Andersen, the original author of the fairy tale, was Danish, “Ariel...is a mermaid” and a fictional character.

And even if Ariel is Danish, the network wrote, “Danish mermaids can be black because Danish *people* can be black,” adding, “Black Danish people, and thus mer-folk, can also genetically (!!!) have red hair.”

The fiery post continued: “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.”

Sources: People.com, France 24, Instagram.com

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