“Diversity is the most important thing in the media, it brings so many people together as one,” one TikTok user commented.
“The fact they all have these reactions just shows that even now in 2022 there still isn’t enough representation,” another wrote.
Halle even commented crying faces and love heart emojis on the video and reposted the clip to her Instagram.
“People have been sending these reactions to me all weekend and i’m in truly in awe ♥️seeing these little babies reactions makes me so emotional 💗this means the world to me 💗😭thank you all for your unwavering support,” she wrote.
When the live action cast was announced a few years ago, people were outraged and created the hashtag #NotMyAriel. But it only highlighted how threatened some people are by diversity in major Hollywood films.
The Little Mermaid live action director Rob Marshall remained confident he made the right choice casting Halle as Ariel.
“After an extensive search, it was abundantly clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance — plus a glorious singing voice — all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role," he said.
The original film was created in 1989, when representation of diverse actors was scarce. Now, given societal changes, there is a further emphasis to see people of colour on screen playing influential and major roles.
The viral TikTok video only highlights that representation matters.