Disney's Freeform (formerly ABC Family) has Halle Bailey's back! The young actress — who also costars on the Freeform show Grown-ish — was recently announced as the newly cast Ariel for Disney's live-action The Little Mermaid. The singer/actress was met with overwhelmingly positive reactions, but of course the news wasn't without negative responses from people who couldn't stand the thought of a black Ariel. 

Ariel from The Little Mermaid is originally white with bright blue eyes and bold, red hair. Bailey is a black girl with locs (which look great dyed red, per the photos of her in circulation). People who aren't digging inclusion very much are bothered by the fact that Ariel is getting a melanin remix and, well, the Disney-owned Freeform wants them to know they simply have to get over it. 

When Disney revealed that Halley Bailey would be Ariel from The Little Mermaid, naysayers immediately began expressing their disapproval. 

They even created the #NotMyAriel and #NotMyMermaid hashtags. 

"I will speak on behalf [of] the kids from the 90s. Disney movies were our prized possessions. We memorized every song and knew the movies by heart. Ariel was a princess deep in our hearts. We pretended to be her when we swam. This is Not racist! Disney- Make a new story," one person wrote. 

Er, as a BLACK woman who was a BLACK girl in the 1990s, I definitely have to say that this woman does not speak for all of us. 

I, too, pretended to be Ariel when I swam (still... kinda...do...), and I'm all for a black Ariel. 

I'm just a huge mermaid fan in general, and it's not even just about The Little Mermaid. Way too many representations of mermaids are white, period. With Ariel being the most popular one, it makes me really happy to see my favorite mermaid finally represent me. I'll also still go back and enjoy the original Ariel, because guess what? You can enjoy BOTH. That fact lets me know that people speaking out against Ariel being black aren't just saying so because of nostalgia. They don't like a black Ariel because they don't value blackness in general. 

People even made scientific theories about why Ariel should not be black. 

"I'm just gonna point out real quick it is scientifically impossible to a mermaid to be black not only because mermaids aren't real but there isn't enough sunlight in the [deep] dark depths of the ocean for them to have that much melanin. Also, no one was mad about her being white," one person wrote. 

Thankfully, there were smart people on Twitter who shut this disgusting theory all the way down. "Except the original movie shows Ariel frequently going up to the surface, proving that mermaids are comfortable at all depths of the ocean (even the surface where UVs are more intense), which means they'd have to have melanin. So they have melanin, so they can be black," one person countered. 

Freeform is letting all those who disapprove know that their reasoning for why Ariel shouldn't be black is actually not based on any facts.

“Yes, the original author of ‘The Little Mermaid’ was Danish. Ariel… is a mermaid. She lives in an underwater kingdom in international waters and can legit swim wherever she wants (even though that often upsets King Triton, absolute zaddy). But for the sake of argument, let’s say that Ariel, too, is Danish. Danish mermaids can be black because Danish *people* can be black," Freeform wrote on Instagram. 

Freeform didn't stop there!

"Ariel can sneak up to the surface at any time with her pals Scuttle and the *ahem* Jamaican crab Sebastian (sorry, Flounder!) and keep that bronze base tight. Black Danish people, and thus mer-folk, can also *genetically* have red hair," the network continued. "But spoiler alert — bring it back to the top — the character Ariel is a work of fiction. So after all this is said and done, and you still cannot get past the idea that choosing the incredible, sensational, highly-talented, gorgeous Halle Bailey is anything other than INSPIRED casting that it is because “doesn’t look like the cartoon one,” oh boy, do I have some news for you… about you."

Translation: Sorry, racists. You're just going to have to stay mad. 

photo: Giphy

Disney has Bailey's back. Freeform has her front. Hordes of people who do adore inclusion are down for this live-action The Little Mermaid casting. You'll just have to sit this super-fun Disney moment out, and that's OK you poor, unfortunate souls. Hey, at least you can save money on a movie ticket and that expensive popcorn! You can also stream The Little Mermaid in its original version all you want as soon as Disney releases its streaming service. Win-win? 

In the meantime, the rest of us will be celebrating how truly EPIC the live-action version of The Little Mermaid is going to be.

There is no word on when this film will actually hit theaters. There are so many Disney live-action remakes coming out, like Maleficent 2, Mulan, and Cruella (101 Dalmatians), just to name a few. The Little Mermaid may not be hitting theaters until 2020 or 2021. Sigh. It's likely going to be a long but rewarding wait.