Let me take a crack at this, shall we?
Forgive the expletive but this sh*t is not new. I watched the same racist furor with James Bond and Doctor Who.
What gets me, though, is how short everybody’s memory is. Halle Bailey (not Berry – though she has her own “she’s playing a white woman’s part” water association a la Ursula Andress) is NOT the first black woman to play a female sea creature.
Have we forgotten Naomie Harris’ role as Calypso in Pirates of the Caribbean? When you think about it the two characters have similarities, if you compare PotC with the original Hans Christian Anderson story. Both fall in love with a white (hu)man, both get screwed over by a white guy.
Which leads me to this question – do we really want to continue this Strange Days legacy? WHICH fantasy/scifi roles will Black women get going forward and how problematic are those roles going to be? Or can we follow the Black Panther banner, problems and all, and move on.
Meanwhile, unlike the fantasy genre both of these characters inhabit, trolls are very much a reality today. My take?
The trolls can stick it.
And the bottom line is the bottom line – there is no way in heck Disney would take a risk like this if they did not think a black mermaid would sell.
In the end, it is all about buying and selling, isn’t it? The irony is not lost on me.