The Little Mermaid: Josh Gad slams “pathetic” trolls

Josh Gad in Beauty and the Beast and a still from The Little Mermaid remakeDisney

Frozen and Beauty and the Beast star Josh Gad has addressed the latest bunch of “pathetic” trolls attacking The Little Mermaid trailer.

From homophobes review-bombing LGBTQ+ The Last of Us episodes, to racists being mad at a fictional mermaid for having black skin, it seems like a new trend for trolls is to hate on anything that isn’t white or straight, and to do so by clicking that dislike or 1-star button.

The Little Mermaid is the latest in a string of live-action Disney movies, and while opinion on these remakes can vary, the mass amount of hate the new trailer for this film feels very specific, due to Halle Bailey starring as the titular role instead of a white actor.

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And fellow Disney actor Josh Gad, of Beauty and the Beast and Frozen fame, has had enough of it.

Josh Gad defends The Little Mermaid trailer against MAGA

After it was revealed during the 95th Academy Awards, the official trailer for the upcoming live-action Little Mermaid dropped on YouTube. Though while many comments seemed excited for the film, there was also a notable increase in dislikes on the video.

According to Democratic organisation Twitter account Call To Activism, the trailer is being targeted by MAGA supporters, similarly to how the teaser trailer was given mass dislike clicks. As stated by them, “The teaser trailer has generated over three million dislikes, and the new trailer has over 600,000.”

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However, many responded with distaste to MAGA’s actions, including fellow Disney actor Josh Gad. He also took to Twitter to slam the trolls, writing: “Imagine being so broken and pathetic in life that your chief concern is the skin color of…a make-believe singing mermaid.”

Halle Bailey is no sadly no stranger to racist backlash by this point, as even back when she was first cast in 2019, a racist #NotMyAriel Twitter campaign ensued.

Rob Marshall, the director of the film, earlier revealed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that he “wasn’t anticipating” such a negative response. For him, there was “no agenda” to casting Bailey as Ariel.

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“We just were looking for the best actor for the role, period. The end,” he said. “We saw everybody and every ethnicity.”

When discussing the color-blind casting process, he explained: “I felt like we’ve moved so far past that kind of thing. But then you realize, in a way we haven’t. It was very moving to me to see how important this kind of casting is for the world.”

The Little Mermaid will premiere in cinemas on May 26, 2023. Find out more about the film here.