Entertainment

People On Twitter Are Upset That Ariel From ‘The Little Mermaid’ Will Be Black But Mermaids Don’t Exist So

All we’ve ever wanted was the proper representation, diversity in the arts, and inclusivity in all forms. Finally, now that we are starting to get it, people must come out with their claws to criticize. Lately, we’ve seen a resurgence in film and television remakes that are particularly less white than the originals.

Those projects include the remake of “West Side Story,” “The Craft,” “Party Of Five,” and “The Lion King.” The latest retelling of an animation classic has some people up in arms for the most ridiculous of reasons.

Disney is producing a live-action/CGI version of “The Little Mermaid” starring 19-year-old Halle Bailey.

Bailey is one-half of the singing group Chloe and Halle, and also stars in “Grown-ish.” Rob Marshall is set to direct and also stars Melissa McCarthy, Awkwafina, and Jacob Tremblay. Lin-Manuel Miranda has also been pinned to co-produce the film for Disney.

“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,” Rob Marshall, said in a statement according to People magazine.

Critics are lashing out at the casting and say Ariel should not be Black.

Those that are against the casting of “The Little Mermaid” say the actress needs to be white, as the original character was Danish. People are taking to social media to air their grievances. Some are using the hashtag #NotMyAriel while others started a Facebook group under the name, “Christian’s Against the Little Mermaid (Boycott Halle Bailey),” which has been deleted, albeit after attracting 50,000 members.

“Disney has been ruining our childhood classics for the past several years. Their live-action adaptations have been abysmal but now they have gone too far!!!” reads the group’s welcome message according to Slate. “Disney has jumped on the bandwagon of turning prominent red-headed, fair skinned characters into POC. Why not just create a new character? Why is Hollywood trying to wipe out gingers???”

Now Freeform, the network that airs Bailey’s show “Grown-ish” is firing back and supporting their actress.

“Yes. The original author of The Little Mermaid was Danish. Ariel…is a mermaid,” Freeform said in an Instagram post. “She lives in an underwater kingdom in international waters and can legit swim wherever she wants (even though that often upsets King Triton, absolute zaddy). But for the sake of argument, let’s say that Ariel, too, is Danish. Danish mermaids can be black because Danish *people* can be black. Ariel can sneak up to the surface at any time with her pals Scuttle and the *ahem* Jamaican crab Sebastian (sorry, Flounder!) and keep that bronze base tight. Black Danish people and this mer-folk can also *genetically* (!!!) have red hair.”

They go on to say, “But spoiler alert – bring it back to the top – the character of 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.”

The post has been liked more than 50,000 times.

Fans — celebrities as well — are voicing their support for this awesome casting call.

It’s kind of funny how savage people are over who can play a mermaid.

Also, red-headed people are not just white.

Gingers come in every color.

Bailey got a shout out from Halle Berry

This is legendary especially coming from an Academy Award winner. By the way, people on social media actually thought that Halley Berry — not Hailey Bailey — was cast in the film. Okay, we can see why people would make that mistake, but we love the fact that Berry gave her a shoutout.

Janelle Monáe is praising her new role.

It is indeed a perfect choice! Have you heard her sing? She sounds like an angel.

Mariah Carey sent her a congratulatory tweet.

So many young kids will experience Ariel for the very first time.

Lin-Manuel Miranda also celebrated this casting, that we’re sure he had a say in.

He is co-producing the film after all.

As we previously mentioned Jacob Tremblay will star in the film, as Flounder, Awkwafina will be Scuttle, Melissa McCarthy will play Ursula. Although people are livid about that as well. They’re saying a black person should play the role, Ursula. But as one person pointed out, Ursula was neither white or black.

“I see a ton of people debating on if Ursula is white or black, and I have a definitive answer,” a person on Twitter said. “You’re all color blind, she is quite clearly purple – with some grayish or teal-ish tint, depending on the ambient light,” another Twitter user who got in on the debate declared.”

There’s no film release as of yet, but we’re hoping for 2020.

Eva Mendes Said She Hasn’t Acted In Years Because She Isn’t Settling For Roles She’s Not Proud Of

Entertainment

Eva Mendes Said She Hasn’t Acted In Years Because She Isn’t Settling For Roles She’s Not Proud Of

evamendes / Instagram

This year’s Golden Globes awards were a complete letdown for a variety of reasons. Aside from the typical #SoWhite nonsense and long speeches, people were astonished at the lack of Latinas on the red carpet. We counted four: Jennifer Lopez, Ana de Armas, Sofia Vergara, and Salma Hayek. Depressing right? We know there are more Latinas in Hollywood, but where are they? At least one of the most recognized Latina actresses is explaining why she hasn’t acted in years. 

A fan recently asked Eva Mendes on Instagram when she’ll be in a new movie. Mendes responded by saying she won’t settle for any project partly because of her daughters. 

Credit: evamendes / Instagram

On Jan. 7, Mendes responded to a fan on Instagram when she asked her,  “When the fans going to see u in some new movies?” Mendes told her kindly that she isn’t offered roles that are good enough for her. 

“Hi! When there’s something worthwhile to be a part of,” she wrote on Instagram. “As a mother now, there are many roles I won’t do. There are many subject matters that I don’t want to be involved with, so it limits my choices, and I’m fine with that. I have to set an example for my girls now. But no worry, I got some side hustles. Ha! Thanks for asking. All the best for 2020.”

Mendes’s most recent role was the 2014 film Lost River directed and written by her baby daddy, Ryan Gosling. Things certainly changed for Mendes when she met Gosling in 2011.

The two first met while filming the 2012 movie, “The Place Beyond the Pines.” There was no denying the chemistry between the two in “The Place Beyond the Pines.” It was an extraordinary film about a Luke (Gosling) who doubles as a bank robber and motorcyclist. He meets Romina (Mendes), the two fall in love, and have a baby. Domestic life isn’t for Luke, and he cannot escape his crime-ridden life. We won’t give any spoilers, but it truly felt like we were witnessing a real-life love story.

Mendes is now the mother of two girls and has gone on to launch her fashion collection with New York & Company and has been busy with that for several years now.

Credit: evamendes / Instagram

While Mendes continues to lead a pretty private life with Gosling and her daughters, her fashion collection has been successful. She has also said that her partner has been very encouraging and proud of her work as a designer. 

“Ryan is incredibly supportive, and he’s always in awe,” Mendes told People magazine last year. “He makes me realize that [making the collection] is actually a lot of work. I have so much fun doing it that I don’t really realize.”

She also added that her in-laws and her family are extremely helpful to her as she develops each collection. 

“Ryan’s mom, Ryan’s sister, my mom, my sisters, my grandma are all my fashion guinea pigs,” Mendes told the magazine. “Nobody is going to be more honest than family, and our family is very honest. It’s something I really appreciate because when designing something, you need real feedback.”

Yet, still, with her success as a fashion designer, we cannot help miss Mendes as an actor. Remember her in “Training Day”?

Her role as Sara opposite Denzel Washington was so intense and incredibly raw. We can see why she would hesitate to be in certain kinds of characters, especially if the part calls for nudity or vulgar language. The role of Sara is also one that we have seen often, which is the stereotypical Latina as a single mother, living in the projects. That has been played out. That movie, however, was how we first learned of Mendes. 

She stretched her comedy chops in “The Other Guys” in 2010 alongside Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell. 

That movie was hilarious, and she was amusing as the wife of Will Ferrell. Then again, that role was of a sexy (but smart) Latina who could whip of a home-cooked meal and be stunning all at the same time. Mendes can play the ultimate woman because she is a lot of ways. However, we understand she wants to break away from that notion that all Latinas are curvy, sexy, and feisty. 

Her Instagram is always active, so it makes us feel like Mendes hasn’t gone anywhere.

Credit: evamendes / Instagram

But we still miss you on the big screen, Eva. Come back!!

READ: Here Are 9 Latinos Who Have Become Triple Threats In The Entertainment Industry

Spike Lee Is The First Black President Of Cannes Film Festival In Its 73-Year History

Entertainment

Spike Lee Is The First Black President Of Cannes Film Festival In Its 73-Year History

James Gourley / Flickr

Spike Lee is returning to the 73rd Cannes Film Festival a couple of years after BlacKkKlansman debuted there, this time as the jury president. In over seven decades, the prestigious film festival has never had a black president overseeing the artists who decide which films will win an award. 

“In this life I have lived, my biggest blessings have been when they arrived unexpected, when they happened out of nowhere. When I got the call that I was offered the opportunity to be president of Cannes jury for 2020, I was shocked, happy, surprised and proud all at the same time,” Lee said in a statement.

The 62-year-old director won Cannes’ Grand Prix for BlacKkKlansman which also earned Lee his first Academy Award. Prior to his recent release, Lee hadn’t participated in Cannes in 22 years despite having seven of his most beloved films like, She’s Gotta Have ItDo The Right Thing and Summer Of Sam, playing there. 

Lee releases a heartfelt statement about becoming the jury president.

Lee said this particular film festival is the most important in the world and that it significantly impacted his career.

“It started way back in 1986 – my first feature film She’s Gotta Have It, which won the Prix de la Jeunesse in the Director’s Fortnight. The next joint was in 1989 – Do The Right Thing, an Official Selection in Competition. And I don’t have the time nor space to write about the cinematic explosion that jumped off, still relative to this, 30 years later,” Lee said in a statement. 

Do The Right Thing might be Lee’s most well-known project. The film which uses building racial tensions in a Brooklyn neighborhood as an exploration of violence as activism was solidified as a part of history when it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry and Libray of Congress. 

“Then Jungle Fever 1991 – Official Selection in Competition, Girl 6 1996 – Official Selection out of Competition, Summer Of Sam1999 – Director’s Fortnight, Ten Minutes Older 2002 – Official Selection in Un Certain Regard and then BlacKkKlansman 2018 – Official Selection in Competition where it won the Grand Prix, which became the launching pad for the world theatrical release which led to my Academy Award for screenplay,” he continued. 

Many have felt that Lee has not gotten the respect he deserves as a filmmaker — at least not until fairly recently.

Despite being nominated four times across three decades, Lee wasn’t awarded an Academy Award until 2019 for Best Adapted Screenplay. 

“Spike Lee’s perspective is more valuable than ever. Cannes is a natural homeland and a global sounding board for those who (re)awaken minds and question our stances and fixed ideas. Lee’s flamboyant personality is sure to shake things up. What kind of president of the jury will he be? Find out in Cannes!” Cannes President Pierre Lescure and festival head Thierry Frémaux said in a statement.

In the New York Times profile leading up to his Oscar win, the paper examined the ways in which Lee has been relegated to the fringes of prestigious filmmaking: throughout his career, he has earned less money and received less funding than his white counterparts, and has had difficulty getting projects off the ground. 

Lee’s inclusion might be Cannes’ first big step in correcting its diversity issues.

“That’s the dilemma of a talented black artist in any field,” collaborator and author James McBride told the NY Times. “You have to recreate the genre, otherwise you don’t survive. Stevie Wonder is not a pop musician; Stevie Wonder is a genre. Michael Jackson is a genre to himself. Spike Lee has moved into that territory. Spike Lee is not short on talent. What Spike Lee is short on is friends in the industry, and the kind of space to fail. He has no room to fail.” 

While Cannes has struggled with diversity around black and women directors, Lee as a jury president could be a healthy step in allowing other perspectives in. 

“I’m honored to be the first person of the African diaspora (USA) to be named president of the Cannes jury and of a main film festival. The Lee family sincerely thanks the Festival de Cannes, Pierre Lescure and Thierry Frémaux and the great people of France who have supported my film career throughout four decades. I will always treasure this special relationship,” Lee said.