Disney’s live-action, multi-racial remake of The Little Mermaid isn’t woke enough for a prominent diversity activist who has slammed the movie for “pretending that slavery didn’t exist.”
He has even accused Disney of “whitewashing out the difficult parts of our history.”
Marcus Ryder, a British diversity activist who also chairs the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, published a blog post this week titled “Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Caribbean Slavery, and Telling the Truth to Children.”
“The film is set in the Caribbean in the 18th century. It does not specify exactly when, but judging from the ships, clothes and other references it is during a time of African chattel slavery,” he wrote.
“And yet there is not a single direct reference to slavery and the islanders live in racial harmony. ”
If you want to read even more I cover many of these issues in my blog piece: “Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Caribbean Slavery, and Telling the Truth to Children” https://t.co/fg52roFxAk
— Marcus Ryder MBE (@marcusryder) June 1, 2023
Ryder, who saw the movie with his six-year-old son, said Disney has done a disservice to children.
“The total erasure and rewriting of one of the most painful and important parts of African diasporic history, is borderline dangerous, especially when it is consumed unquestioningly by children,” he wrote
“I do not want my child to think that the Caribbean in the 18th century was a time of racial harmony, any more than I suspect a Jewish father wants his child to think 1940 Germany was a time of religious tolerance, however much we might both wish they were.”
The Little Mermaid features a black actress as the title character, Ariel, while the supporting roles are filled out with aa multi-racial ensemble cast. The movie’s villain, Ursula, is still white.
As Breitbart News reported, Melissa McCarthy recently revealed her character in The Little Mermaid has drag queen roots, saying she “100 per cent” drew inspiration from drag queens for her turn as the voice-stealing villain.
The movie’s first full trailer was massively unpopular, garnering more than 1 million “dislikes” on YouTube less than a week after its unveiling during the Oscars in March.
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