Examining Racist Backlash and Chinese-South Korean Relations amid the Casting of Ariel in The Little Mermaid

Examining Racist Backlash and Chinese-South Korean Relations amid the Casting of Ariel in The Little Mermaid

The recent casting of Halle Bailey, a talented African-American actress, as Ariel in Disney’s live-action adaptation of “The Little Mermaid,” has sparked a wave of controversy and racist backlash. While it is crucial to address instances of racism, it is important to approach the topic with nuance and avoid making sweeping generalizations about entire nations or their populations.

This article aims to shed light on the issue while examining the broader context of Chinese-South Korean relations and their respective stances on racism.

Understanding Racist Backlash:

The casting of Halle Bailey has faced opposition from a vocal minority, mainly expressing discontent over the decision to portray a traditionally white character with an African-American actress. However, it is essential to recognize that such backlash is not representative of an entire country or culture. Racism is a societal issue that exists in various forms across the globe and is not limited to any specific nation.

Racism in China:

China, like any other country, is not free from incidents of racism. It is worth noting that China’s population is vast and diverse, comprising numerous ethnic groups. In recent years, some incidents have highlighted discriminatory attitudes towards people of African descent within certain Chinese communities. These incidents, often fueled by cultural misunderstandings and limited exposure to different cultures, do not represent the attitudes of the entire Chinese population.

Racism in South Korea:

South Korea has also experienced instances of racial discrimination, particularly towards people of African, Southeast Asian, and Middle Eastern descent. These incidents have ranged from derogatory comments to more severe acts of racism. However, it is crucial to emphasize that these occurrences do not define the mindset of all South Koreans. South Korea, like many other countries, is working towards promoting inclusivity and combating racism through educational initiatives and societal awareness.

Promoting Inclusivity and Combating Racism:

The controversy surrounding the casting of Ariel provides an opportunity to reflect on the importance of inclusivity in the entertainment industry and society at large. It is crucial for filmmakers, producers, and audiences to embrace diversity, challenge stereotypes, and promote positive representation.

China and South Korea, like any other nation, have made progress in addressing racism but still have work to do. Education, cultural exchange, and open dialogue can contribute to fostering understanding and tolerance between different communities.


While instances of racist backlash over the casting of Ariel in The Little Mermaid have emerged, it is essential to remember that racism is not exclusive to any specific country or culture. China and South Korea, like many nations, have experienced incidents of racism, but it is unfair to label entire countries as racist based on the actions of a few individuals.

This controversy should serve as a reminder of the need for inclusivity, representation, and ongoing efforts to combat racism in the entertainment industry and society as a whole. By promoting understanding and fostering dialogue, we can collectively strive towards a more inclusive and tolerant world.

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