‘Keep Positive People Around’: Brandy Gives Halle Bailey Advice Following Last Summer’s Racist Outrage Over ‘The Little Mermaid’ Casting

Brandy is coming through with some words of encouragement for her new Disney sister, singer Halle Bailey. As some may remember, in July 2019 Bailey was revealed as the new Ariel in the upcoming live-action reboot of Disney’s classic animated film “The Little Mermaid.”

Shortly after the announcement, racist fans came out of the woodwork decrying the casting decision of a Black woman playing the fictional mermaid. At one point a petition titled #NotMyAriel was created and made its rounds on social media calling to have the role recast.

Brandy, who portrayed Cinderella in the ABC adaptation of the Disney animated film, made history by becoming the first Black woman to play the character. During a recent interview with Billboard, when asked about her take on Bailey’s new role, the singer lent some kinds words to Bailey, telling the star “she has everything that it takes to do everything she was meant to do.”

Brandy (above) recently gave Halle Bailey advice following last summer’s racist outrage over “The Little Mermaid” casting. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)

“She needs to keep positive people around her and to also stay positive and to not live her life for anyone but herself,” the actress said in the July 30 article. She added, “And I mean that in a way where sometimes in this industry, we can get caught up in what everybody thinks that we should do. I believe that her staying true to herself is the reason why she’s in a great position to do all of the things that she’s meant to do.”

The “Borderline” singer concluded her statement by saying that in her eyes Bailey is “a positive role model already” to so many other young Black women. “I just wish her all the best. I absolutely love Halle, and I love Chloe. I see so much of myself in Halle.”

When the drama initially occurred, Bailey didn’t address the racist remarks made about her new role because she was so overwhelmed with happiness over her unique opportunity that she didn’t even acknowledge the critics. 

At the time, during the Power of Young Hollywood event last August, the then-19-year-old told Variety, “I feel like I’m dreaming, and I’m just grateful, and I don’t pay attention to the negativity.” She added, “I just feel like this role was something bigger than me and greater. It’s going to be beautiful. I’m just so excited to be a part of it.”

At this moment, the only thing Bailey seems to be concerned about is going on this journey without her sister and collaborator Chloe, whom she sings with in their group Chloe x Halle. “It is definitely a little bit nerve-wracking because I am the little sister,” Bailey explained. “I am so used to [us] always going through these challenging moments in our career together, [but] I am beginning to understand that this film is so much bigger than me.”

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