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.
Someone on The View asked the question, “What next?” This was in regard to the action by many women at the Golden Globes last Sunday. This includes refusing to give into the “what are you wearing” talk (which, to be fair, was initiated by Joan Rivers years ago).
More importantly this included introducing us the public to the activists in women’s movements in other areas, such as Tarana Burke, Saru Jayaraman, Ai-Jen Poo and Marai Larasi and others. (come on, US Weekly, did you have to follow that story with click bait on 10 Best Beauty Looks on the Golden Globes? Really?)
So what next? I think I already answered that question in my post about Lisa Nishimura. We need to acknowledge the work of these women. This is a slow trend but it is happening.
Clearly we as women know how to make the money to make films (Lisa Nishimura) and we know how to market films (that’s what Ava DuVernay was doing before Selma). And we know how to write books that get optioned, as Hidden Figures proved. A book written by a Black woman made into a film starring Black women. And guess what? White men went to see it, too.
It can be done.
The next step? We KNOW we have been oppressed but we have to stand by our work. I don’t care about the designer dress you borrowed. I want to know about your upcoming television and Netflix projects (Hollywood? Feh).