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while the little Mermaid It made big money at The Office with high audience records, and not everyone was pleased with the movie. The movie, starring Halle Bailey as the first live-action incarnation of Ariel, recently debuted in cinemas. After the premiere, media diversity advocate Marcus Ryder took to his personal blog to write an article describing what was wrong with the film, arguing that the little Mermaid He poses big problems by covering up slavery. This means that Ryder feels that leaving slavery outside of the film has “serious” consequences in real life.

“Children’s films should not ignore the more difficult parts of our history, simply because adults feel uncomfortable addressing them,” Ryder said on his blog.

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To give the movie some credit, Ryder had high praise for Billy’s performance as Ariel. He went on to describe how the film “needs to be applauded” for how it deals with race, noting that there is a nice mix of races with the characters having no bearing on the story. Moreover, Ryder also feels it the little Mermaid It is problematic because he imagines a world where slavery does not exist in the eighteenth century, which is not the case in real life.

“The film is set in the 18th century Caribbean,” says Ryder. “He does not specify exactly when, but judging from ships, clothing and other references during the period of African slavery. Yet there is not one direct reference to slavery and islanders living in racial harmony.”

He added, “In this situation, I don’t think we’re doing our children any favors by pretending that slavery doesn’t exist. To me, Disney’s preference for trying and wishing the truth so uncomfortable says more about adult creators than it does about children’s ability to work through it.”

Related: The Little Mermaid: The Biggest Differences Between The Original Live-Action Version And Disney

The Little Mermaid makes no mention of slavery

Walt Disney Studios

Rider notes how the enslavement of Africans in the Americas during the eighteenth century was a particularly brutal time, noting that there are still “calls to this day for reparations” to be paid to descendants. This would make this time period “problematic” for any child’s story, says Ryder, but if one had to be set during that time, it would at least need to refer to slavery.

“Setting the fairy tale in this time and place is literally equivalent to setting a romance between a Jew and a Gentile in 1940 Germany and ignoring the Jewish Holocaust,” says Ryder. Or, perhaps more accurately, put him on a slave plantation in the pre-war South of America and pretend that enslaved Africans were happy.

Ryder isn’t the only one offering him some criticism the little Mermaid. British singer and actress Paloma Faith also recently criticized the film for Ariel’s decision to give up her mermaid abilities for a life on land, apparently in order to be with a man.

Faith wrote online, “As a mom to girls, I don’t want my kids to think it’s OK to give up your entire voice and powers in loving a man. What is this shortcoming? It’s not what I want to be taught next to the general of women at all.”

the little Mermaid Shows in cinemas.


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