A petition has been launched calling for Terry Crews to be cast as King Triton in Disney’s live action remake of The Little Mermaid.
The White Chicks star threw his hat in the ring over the weekend when he uploaded a hilarious photoshopped image of himself with his very own mermaid’s tail in front of Ariel’s castle on Twitter.
‘Ariel’s Dad!!!’ he wrote on July 6, adding ‘#ArielsGotTerry #AmericasGotTerry.’
— terry crews (@terrycrews) July 6, 2019
Fans were quick to respond to the tweet pleading with Disney to cast the Brooklyn Nine-Nine star, and now someone’s even launched a petition calling for Crews to be the new King Triton.
Gabriel McArthur, who started the petition, wrote:
I don’t know why grown adults care so much about the casting of mermaids. Mermaids are imaginary creatures. I also don’t know why Disney can’t come up with an original idea these days BUT it’s nice to see new representations in familiar stories.
Terry Crews is a great actor and I honestly can’t picture anyone else playing King Triton in the live action Little Mermaid. I’m betting you agree. So sign it! You know you wanna.
This comes after Disney faced backlash for casting 19-year-old Halle Bailey as Ariel, because of the colour of her skin, with some people arguing the role shouldn’t be played by a black actor.
After the casting was revealed, #notmyariel began trending on Twitter with ‘people’ criticising Disney for exactly that.
However, if you actually search for #notmyariel tweets, you’ll find many of the critical posts come from newly created bot accounts with long numbers in their handles – a sure-fire way of knowing they’re not real.
No, wanting an accurate representation of Ariel's character in the big screen doesn't make anyone Racist or less accessible to those changes, leave the classics ALONE, if everyone wants princesses from different ethnicities and colors etc, make new tales. #NotMyAriel
— the dude everyone hates (@OxmarvisMendoza) July 5, 2019
One #notmyariel tweet that gained a lot of traction comes from an account with six tweets, eight followers and three likes which was created, shockingly, in July 2019 – just in time for some controversy around a major movie.
These accounts have clearly been created to stoke up some kind of divisive debate, hatred and anger and have worked to some degree. Petitions have been signed by real people and there are some actual accounts on Twitter who agree with that viewpoint.
While both Disney and Halle are yet to comment on the backlash, Freeform, a Disney network, has written a powerful open letter to the ‘poor unfortunate souls’ upset with the casting.
The letter succinctly points out that although The Little Mermaid is of Danish heritage, there’s nothing to say Danish people can’t also be black.
Ariel can sneak up to the surface at any time with her pals Scuttle and the *ahem* Jamaican crab, Sebastian, (sorry, Flounder!) and keep that bronze base tight,,’ the letter reads. ‘Black Danish people, and this mer-folk, can also *genetically* (!!!) have red hair.’
But most importantly, it points out The Little Mermaid is a work of fiction, adding ‘after all this is said and done, and you still cannot get past the idea that choosing the incredible, sensational, highly-talented, gorgeous Halle Bailey is anything other than the INSPIRED casting that it is because she ‘doesn’t look like the cartoon one,’ oh boy, do I have some news for you…about you.’
Personally, I think Halle and Terry would make a fabulous daddy-daughter-duo, now hand me that petition.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.