Donald Glover supports Halle Bailey amid Little Mermaid casting backlash

Donald Glover has voiced his support for Halle Bailey, after the star faced backlash over her casting in the live-action version of The Little Mermaid.
The 19-year-old singer and actress is taking on the role of Ariel in the new adaptation of the Disney classic. However, several fans have criticised the studio over the casting of the iconic character, claiming that a black actress shouldn’t play the previously white, red-headed mermaid princess.
Speaking at the world premiere of The Lion King, in which he voices the role of Simba, in Hollywood, California on Tuesday (09Jul19), Glover spoke out in favour of the young star.
“I thought that was so special,” he told E! News. “We were just watching that film and I’m like, that’s such a great story but I’m just like, I dunno, I just hope that she’s like having fun and don’t let anybody make you feel the opposite of how you want to feel. It’s a very special role and you earned it, so I hope you’re listening.”
Halle also attended The Lion King premiere, where she posed for a photo with Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger. She attended the event with her Chloe x Halle bandmate and sister Chloe, 21, with whom she’s signed to Beyonce’s Parkwood Entertainment label.
Speaking about Halle’s casting, The Little Mermaid director Rob Marshall praised the star for having a “glorious singing voice”, and added she also “possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence and substance” that are the “intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role.”