Rachel Zegler defends Halle Bailey after racist trolls rant about her starring as Ariel in The Little Mermaid

Rachel Zegler, who plays Snow White in Disney’s upcoming live-action version, has hit back at trolls criticising The Little Mermaid’s Halle Bailey

Rachel Zegler has slammed a troll that criticised Halle Bailey’s casting as Ariel, in the upcoming live-action reimagining.

Following the Ariel casting announcement in 2019, many people voiced their opinions of the 22-year-old singer and actress.

Many claimed it was a step forward in representation as it shows young girls that a Disney character can look like them, while others have protested the casting due to Halle’s race.

Rachel Zegler will next year appear in Disney’s live-action version of Snow White. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

More racist comments spread across social media after the film’s trailer was released earlier this month, with Halle as the first black woman to play Ariel.

Rachel hit back at a troll on Twitter who thought she was “a good choice for the role”, while adding “But@HalleBailey is #NotMyAriel.”

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The West Side Story actress, 21, has recently wrapped filming for Disney’s live-action remake, Snow White, in which she plays the iconic lead character.

She jumped to her fellow Disney Princess’ defence, writing “If you don’t support my girl Halle, who is the perfect Ariel, you don’t support any of us.”

Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid

The actress’ response has gathered over 9,000 likes and more than 600 retweets on the social media website, since it was posted on Tuesday.

Rachel, who is of Colombian and Polish descent, is yet to work with Halle professionally, however the two live-action Princesses did meet and take a quick snap at the Met Gala, last September.

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The actress who voiced Ariel in the 1989 animated film, Jodi Benson, 60, also showed her support for Bailey.

Halle Bailey attends D23 Expo 2022 at Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California on September 09, 2022. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

The voice actress took to her Instagram to praise the new Arial, writing: “Halle, you were absolutely amazing! ‘I’m SO proud of you & your beautiful performance as Ariel.”

Support for Halle’s new role also came from another on-screen mermaid, Daryl Hannah, 61, who played a mermaid in the 1983 hit film, Splash.

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Hannah took to Twitter to praise the casting choice, she wrote: “The little mermaid is black/I met her/there!” followed by the hashtag #dontbearacistdork.

The tweet was liked by more than 42,000 people, it also gathered over 4,000 retweets.

The Little Mermaid is set to be released in 2023, and also stars Javier Bardem as King Triton, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula and Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric.