Lin-Manuel Miranda Slams Little Mermaid Haters

Lin-Manuel Miranda says Halle Bailey is perfect for The Little Mermaid.

By Joshua Jones | Published

With the Disney live-action Little Mermaid coming soon, Lin-Manuel Miranda is taking it to people online who are already slamming the remake. During a Zoom chat from the L’Attitude conference in San Diego, the Hamilton star spoke about the hate towards Halle Bailey’s casting as Ariel. Despite all the negativity, Lin-Manuel is certain that Bailey’s performance will change people’s opinions about her.

“I’m not interested in giving them any oxygen because I know the lives that are going to be changed. Halle is perfect for the part. She is going to blow them away. If that’s the thing that makes you mad, then stay mad. But examine your choices.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda worked on four new songs for the live-action remake with composer Alan Menken. The Tony winner has worked with Disney on several projects, including Moana, Star Wars, and Encanto. Lin-Manuel will also co-produce the project with Marc Platt and director Rob Marshall.

The songs produced by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alan Menken were recorded in April 2020. The announcement of their being brand new original songs happened on March 17th. Disney has yet to preview any of the new music so far.

A trailer for the Lin-Manuel Miranda-produced project was released during D23. Although the trailer was brief, it did showcase actress Halle Bailey’s singing and the underwater visual effects. On February 17th, 2022, Lin-Manuel revealed that one of the new songs in the remake would take place when Ariel is on land in her human form.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s comments regarding the hate towards Bailey’s casting may not comfort those who do have those feelings. Much of the negative response to Bailey’s casting comes from Disney’s decision to race-bend the Ariel character. Some have questioned the historical accuracy of having a Black mermaid, which is a fictional, cryptozoological being.

The backlash surrounding Bailey’s casting led to an awful record for the mouse house. The official trailer for the film set a record with nearly 1 million dislikes. While Lin-Manuel Miranda and Disney are behind Bailey’s casting, there’s no denying there are those who are just against it.

And to go even further, someone even allowed artificial intelligence to transform Bailey’s Ariel into a white woman. People immediately came into the actress’s defense and called out whoever altered the trailer on Twitter. Still, it remains to be seen whether Lin-Manuel Miranda’s words can be proven right once the movie comes out in theaters.

lin-manuel miranda

Regardless of the mixed reactions to the casting of Ariel, at least the announcement of new music does appear to have been met with mostly a positive response. In addition to his working with Alan Menken, Lin-Manuel Miranda announced that star Daveed Diggs might perform a rap in the film. Diggs impressed many in the role of Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in the Hamilton musical.

Fans are hoping Lin-Manuel Miranda can bring many of his signature musical beats and talents over to the Disney live-action remake. The Puerto Rican composer has earned numerous awards for his work, including three Tony awards, three Grammy awards, and two Primetime Emmy awards. His collaboration with Disney has earned Lin-Manuel two nominations at the Academy Awards.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid will set sail in theaters on May 26th, 2023. The film will be followed by another live-action remake in Snow White, which will release in March 2024. Disney is hoping that the upcoming live-action remakes will generate the same billion-dollar return as 2017’s Beauty and the Beast.