Halle Bailey, who was chosen to play Ariel in Disney's live-action The Little Mermaid remake, has admitted she was shocked by the fan reaction when it was first announced she'd been cast.
More racist comments came in after the teaser trailer was released online.
She told Edition magazine, "Seeing the world’s reaction to it was definitely a shock, but seeing all the babies’ reactions, all the brown and Black young girls, really tore me up emotionally."
After watching videos of little Black girls who were thrilled to find that Ariel was the same color as them, she wrote on Twitter: "People have been sending these reactions to me all weekend and I’m truly in awe, this means the world to me."
Halle said she'd first watched the animated film when she was five, and Ariel was always her favorite Disney princess.
She added, “It’s honestly been such a crazy ride, and I genuinely feel shocked and honored and grateful to be in this position.
A lot of times, I have to pinch myself and be like, is this real life? I feel like I learned so much through her.
I auditioned when I was 18, got the role when I was 19, and I turn 23 this year. So I genuinely feel like helped me grow up."