Growing up, we would go to Blockbuster every single Friday. My sister and I would be so excited to get movies, especially Disney movies. I swear I watched Cinderella a million times! I even have the DVD from the Disney vault and Cinderella III. But when I wasn’t engulfed in Cinderella, I enjoyed Belle, Ariel, and Jasmine from time to time. Growing up in a suburban area, the town of Collierville was majority Caucasian, so seeing it on movies didn’t really phase me. That’s what I thought until I saw they were making Princess and the Frog. It was so refreshing to see a familiar skin tone as a princess. Of course, I own that movie as well as and that came out when I was an adult.
Recently, there has been talk that Halle Bailey will be playing Ariel in a live showing of The Little Mermaid. If you don’t know about this, you must be on a sabbatical from social media…and that’s okay. But for the rest of us who live with our phones connected to our hands, it’s taken over all of our pages. It makes me wonder, if we would have had social media in 1997, what was the word on the Cinderella with Brandy? A black queen and a white king had an Asian prince. Plus, Brandy and Whitney Houston were the black Cinderella and fairy godmother. Maybe folks were super mad then too, but they didn’t have the place to air it like we do now.
I can’t seem to get an understanding of why people think inclusion is a bad thing. Think about it this way. When you walk into a room and you’re the only black person, your mind is eased when another black person shows up. Or if you’re the only male at a party full of women, there’s a sigh oh relief when another male walks through the door. I didn’t hear any talk about Will Smith playing Genie in Aladdin! Was he supposed to be a blue man? Was Nala supposed to be a lion instead of Beyoncé doing the voice over in Lion King? Come on now folks, you see how crazy this all sounds! See the show or don’t, but keep your racist remarks hidden so we won’t have to blast you. Be Sweet.