Home / Opinion / Disney unveils first teaser of The Little Mermaid live-action remake featuring Halle Bailey

Disney unveils first teaser of The Little Mermaid live-action remake featuring Halle Bailey

AMERICAN DIARIES: White House ceremony featuring Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, celebration of South Asian New York Fashion Week and more
Outrageous reaction
Outrageous reaction

Suhashini Sarkar   |   Published 24.09.22, 04:44 AM

Racist outrage


  • Walt Disney Studios recently released a teaser for the live-action remake of the 1989 hit animated film, The Little Mermaid. The Black actor, Halle Bailey, will portray the lead character of Ariel — a red-headed mermaid who has been portrayed as white so far. The reactions to the trailer have been polarising. On one hand, people are ecstatic over Disney’s choice in casting. Videos of Black children expressing awe and joy at seeing a Black woman play a Disney princess have gone viral. There has been only one Black Disney ‘princess’ to date — Tiana in the 2009 animated film, The Princess and the Frog. According to Variety, the teaser of The Little Mermaid has already garnered over 100 million views on the video-sharing platform, YouTube. However, it also got over a million ‘dislikes’. The dislike button has since been disabled by YouTube. Many people expressed outrage at a Black actor playing the role of the iconic mermaid. The backlash against the film began in 2019 when the casting of Bailey was announced. The resentment is unwarranted and steeped in racism. Since then, many have pointed out the double standards of the industry wherein white actors are often hired to play Black characters but not the other way around.


Art meets life


  •  The former president of the United States of America, Barack Obama, and the former first lady, Michelle Obama, returned to the White House earlier this month for the formal unveiling of their official portraits. The ceremony was held in the White House East Room in the presence of the incumbent president, Joe Biden, and the first lady, Jill Biden.The portraits were commissioned by the White House Historical Association.The names of the artists were kept secret till the unveiling.The portraits are usually revealed during the first term of the succeeding president — in this case, it was Donald Trump — but the ceremony was not held while the Republican president was in office. Michelle Obama’s portrait by the Brooklyn-based artist, SharonSprung, shows the former first lady in a flowing, light blue gown seated on a red sofa against a pale pink background. Barack Obama is depicted in a suit, standing against a white background. The paintings of the Obamas that were commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery have been on a national tour since last year and are currently on display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.


Room for all 


  •  This year, the South Asian New York Fashion Week was hosted as part of the biannual fashion event, New York Fashion Week, for the first time. The SANYFW featured several Indian designers, both popular as well as emerging names.“Never before has New York City seen South Asian culture come alive during New York Fashion Week the way we plan to showcase it,” said the co-founder of SANYFW, Hetal Patel, to American Kahani, a website that features Indian voices. “With an expected high projected audience and increased participation from leading pioneers of the South Asian fashion industry, SANYFW promises to be the must-attend week for fashionistas this fall.”The show ran for a week, and the runway featured models and celebrities wearing various kinds of SouthAsian designs including traditional,contemporary, bridal, street wear and Indo-Western styles. It also showcased works by young designers from the Inter National Institute of Fashion Design. The New York Fashion Week, which began in 1943, usually features designers like RalphLauren, Tom Ford, and leading luxury brands. This year, the event was attended by Anne Hathaway, Madonna, Katie Holmes and many others.


Missed step 


  • National Hispanic Heritage Month, a month-long celebration that starts on September 15, has begun. The celebration, started in 1968, commemorates the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the country’s history, culture and society. This year’s theme is “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation”.The celebration is also observed by the White House. However, there has been alleged heartburn over JillBiden’s remarks about the community earlier this summer — she likened Hispanic people to tacos. The first lady said in her speech, “The diversity of this community, as distinct as the bodegas of the Bronx, as beautiful as the blossoms of Miami, and as unique as the breakfast tacos here in San Antonio, is your strength.” Bidenlater apologised. The National Football League also faced criticism for tweeting the image for the Por La Cultura campaign with an ‘eñe’ accent over the‘N’ in NFL. The ‘eñe’ is written as ‘Ñ’in Spanish and is a separate letter,rather than an ‘N’ with a tilde over it. People have pointed out the embarrassing linguistic flaw in the design.



  •  New York City has a new museum that is also not quite a museum. New or Traditional Art Museum— NOTaMUSEUM — located on Broadway has a sign outside that says “closed for installation”,but displayed inside is a series of world-famous art pieces. However, these are not real but are replicas by the artist, Robin Eley. The original artworks are considered to be either lost, stolen or privately held. The show is called Private Collection/Closed for Installation and features 17 oil paintings and one bronze sculpture.

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