Sunday, June 04, 2023
The Little Mermaid was under fire for allegedly "whitewashing" slavery in the movie.
According to New York Post, Marcus Ryder, a prominent British campaigner, cheered the Halle Bailey casting as Ariel, but he slammed the glossing of slavery in blog titled Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Caribbean Slavery, and Telling the Truth to Children.
Ryder claimed the movie was set in the Caribbean in the 18th century when African slavery permeated in the region.
Still, he added the islanders in the film were apparently seen as unaffected by it.
“In this setting, I do not think we do our children any favours by pretending that slavery didn’t exist,” he wrote. “For me, Disney’s preference to try and wish the inconvenient truth away says more about the adult creatives than it does about children’s ability to work through it.”
Ryder also accepted the fantasy genre of the film instead of based on a historical event.
However, he expressed Disney shouldn’t be “encouraging historical amnesia.”
“But 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 said.