Racists Are Trying and Failing to Use ‘Science’ to Prove Mermaids Can’t Be Black

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This Wednesday, Disney announced their casting choice for Ariel in the upcoming live-action Little Mermaid movie – and it was a surprisingly controversial decision. The nineteen-year-old actress and singer seemed highly qualified to play the childhood favorite – apart from one thing. Many are holding a prejudiced view about Ariel’s appearance – more specifically, about her race. Bailey is an African American actress, which many don’t see as the “correct” choice to play this fictional character.

Well, now some have taken to social media to try to prove their point about Ariel’s Caucasian origins. And the best part? They’re failing to make any valid points on the topic – and some mermaid experts are even fighting back.

The Little Mermaid is a beloved Disney cartoon.

And, on Wednesday, it was announced that the casting decision for Ariel in the much anticipated upcoming live-action remake had been made.    

Nineteen-year-old actress and singer, Halle Bailey. In many ways, she was the ideal candidate for the role – but some had a major issue.

The titular Little Mermaid, Ariel, was highly recognized for her long, almost neon, red hair. This is not a feature shared by Bailey.

There were many reasons that Bailey was well suited to the role – not least because of her truly astounding singing talent. Ariel’s character arc revolves around her voice, after all.

Many pointed out that they were disappointed with the casting choice.

Now people on Twitter are attempting use science to prove that a mermaid could never be darker skinned. Yep – you just read those two words in the same sentence: “science” and “mermaids.” Another wrote, “Correct me if I’m wrong. But isn’t it physically impossible for Ariel to be black? She lives underwater, how would the sun get to her for her to produce melanin?! Nobody thought this through..?”

Many pointed out the fact that the vast majority of creatures who live under the sea tend to be of a darker hue.

Some also pointed out this character from the Little Mermaid television spin-off, in which there was a darker skinned mermaid.

If you think about the setting, the musical style of, and, in fact, the accents of the best friends of  The Little Mermaid, it sort of makes more sense that she wouldn’t be strictly Caucasian.

One scientist, Sacha Coward, has selflessly dedicated his time to debunking this myth. “Applying science to mermaids is a rather silly thing to do, they are symbols not biological creatures. Also, the science I have seen being used is really bad science: Cherry picking elements of the natural world to argue why Ariel should be pale and redheaded makes no sense,” he said.

Coward has also made a conclusive list of the many different non-Caucasian mer-creatures in legend – proving that they really do come in all shades.

Coward has clearly done his research and managed to find a selection of excellent examples that totally disprove the “mermaids are white” theory.

There is an incredible number of examples that really do confuse the theory that Ariel – or, in fact, any mermaid at all – would have to be white.

The worldwide tradition of mer-people seems to suggest that there would be no original Little Mermaid if it weren’t for these other creatures.

If science proves that there is no reason for anyone to still be holding these prejudices, that’s pretty hard to argue with. At least, let’s hope so! For more of the internet’s best reactions to the controversial casting decision and to hear the full story, keep scrolling!