Controversies regarding Disney’s live-action movie “The Little Mermaid”, which was released on May 24th, continue.
The Korean dubbing of “The Little Mermaid” was done by NewJeans Danielle, and the reactions to the casting were mixed from the beginning. Concerns poured out over Danielle’s inaccurate Korean pronunciation and lack of voice acting experience, but the situation changed when Danielle’s “Part of Your World” video was released. Many people praised Danielle’s singing skills and visuals. Some even commented that Ariel’s young and pure voice suits Danielle better than Halle Bailey, who has high-quality singing skills and a mature voice.
However, some Western critics are angry about Danielle’s casting.
Recently, the movie media outlet Tomatazos reported the news of Danielle being cast as the voice actress for Ariel, stating, “This reflects Korean colorism, discrimination based on skin color.”
This media outlet explained, “Danielle has natural vocal talent and charm like Halle Bailey, but the contrast in skin color is noticeable. In East Asia, there is an excessive emphasis on white skin, which is one of Korea’s racially discriminatory expressions.”
Danielle’s “Part of Your World” video not only topped the list of popular videos as soon as it was released, but also received a lot of attention abroad as it recorded a higher number of views than Halle Bailey’s version. In addition, Disney Korea actively promoted Danielle’s video in Korea.
Regarding Danielle’s casting, Disney Korea explained they decided to cast her after taking into account her singing and dialogue delivery skills, which are fitting for the role of Ariel. They added, “It was not an easy challenge to perform Korean songs and lines according to Ariel’s English mouthing and timing on the screen of ‘The Little Mermaid’, but it drew a good response from those involved.”
Meanwhile, Disney’s live-action film “The Little Mermaid” is being screened in theaters amidst the highest acclaim.