Halle Bailey opens up about backlash from 'The Little Mermaid' casting

Halle Bailey attends Variety's Power of Young Hollywood in Los Angeles.

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Halle Bailey attends Variety's Power of Young Hollywood in Los Angeles.

Halle Bailey is responding to critics for the first time after facing some criticism over her "Little Mermaid" casting.

"I feel like I'm dreaming and I'm just grateful and I don't pay attention to the negativity," she told Variety at the Power of Young Hollywood gala Tuesday. "I just feel like, you know, this role was something bigger than me and greater and it's going to be beautiful. I'm just so excited to be a part of it."

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Last month, Disney announced Bailey, who is half of the singing sister duo Chloe x Halle, would play Ariel in the live-action remake. The singer, who also stars in Freeform's "grown-ish," quickly became a trending topic on Twitter.

Her big sister, 21-year-old Chloe Bailey, told People she was excited for her sister.

"I was more than proud," she told the publication at Variety's Power of Young Hollywood event. "I was screaming and crying. She worked so hard."

Some said the black actress should not have gotten the role because she doesn’t look like the animated version of “The Little Mermaid,” who is white.

However, several people and organizations defended Disney’s choice, including Freeform. The Disney-owned channel posted an open letter about the controversy on social media, calling Bailey “incredible, sensational, highly-talented, and gorgeous.”

Although Melissa McCarthy and Harry Styles have been rumored to also star in the film, confirmed details about casting have not been released.

Production is expected to begin early next year.

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