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The Racist Little Mermaid

La Sirenita racista

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THE PREMIERE of the trailer for the new live-action version of Disney’s The Little Mermaid has triggered a social media controversy of flood proportions. The fact that Disney has chosen a black actress to play the once red-haired and very white Ariel has caused the trailer to accumulate millions of negative ratings on YouTube, while those who defend Disney accuse the detractors of being racist.

If the signs of public discontent towards Disney for its umpteenth alteration of a classic like The Little Mermaid are massive, no less forceful is the campaign by the company and its related media to discredit critics, who are branded as racists and, of course, ultraconservative.

One of the main weapons used against critics are viral videos in which black girls react excitedly to the trailer of The Little Mermaid, saying things like “she’s black! she’s just like me!”.

Interestingly, many of the media outlets that today reproduce these videos appealing to sentimentality under headlines such as “inclusion is important”, or “the tender reaction of some girls upon seeing The Little Mermaid trailer”, are the same progressive media that a few years ago also described as “tender and exciting” a viral video in which two white sisters did not even notice the color of their new black adopted little sister, accompanying it with the slogan “children are not born racist.”

Also, a video is going viral of a Mexican girl holding a red-haired Little Mermaid doll from the 1989 version who, after seeing the new trailer, is saddened and says that’s not Ariel. However, this sentimental reaction of the girl, not only is not considered by commentators as tender or emotional, but is described as racist (even though she is not a redhead and is “Latina”), and even accuses the girl of being conditioned by her mother.


So where does that leave us, is it racist to fixate on skin color and not on the content of character (as Martin Luther King said) or the opposite? Why are the Mexican girl and her mother prejudged as racist for noticing the change, and not the black girls and their progenitors for placing so much importance and significance on race?

Undoubtedly, there will be racists among those who prejudge the new version of The Little Mermaid, just as there may be racists among those who praise it, but the attempts by Disney and the leftist media to determine who is racist and who is not, raises the suspicion that we are dealing with a political maneuver, which is especially abject for using children.

If a male child were to say that he does not play the video game Tomb Raider because he does not identify with the character of Lara Croft, he and those who have raised him would be labeled as misogynists, or even a homophobe with fragile masculinity, or a closet homosexual. However, the progressive narrative, which fills its mouth with the word empathy, insists that you can only fully identify with characters of your own race, gender, and sexual orientation.

The Little Mermaid, Disney, and Cultural Marxism

These kinds of incongruities are the result of the identity politics embraced by the left, which are nothing more than an updating and extension of the Marxist idea of class struggle. Marxist dialectics emphasized the confrontation between proletarians and owners of the means of production (workers and businessmen), and now it has extrapolated this struggle to men against women, blacks against whites, homosexuals against “cisgender”, etc.

The left lives on confrontation and feeding the feeling of victimhood and envy to the minorities who they think will vote for them and will do everything possible to perpetuate and feed any difference.

Disney, in general terms, is a political agent of the woke left, and the Democratic Party in particular, and is the primary one in charge of rewriting the culture to fit this progressive narrative of confrontation.

The Little Mermaid may end up being a frame-for-frame remake of the original, with the only variation being the skin color of some of the main characters — as they did with The Lion King (which is almost a carbon copy) — but it is also very likely that Disney will not pass up the opportunity to make more profound changes to the plot and character development (as they did with Pinocchio) to adapt the story to the narrative that interests progressivism.

Surely, all this controversy around Ariel’s color is nothing more than a publicity maneuver and a smokescreen so that, either we do not notice the deep ideological changes in the morals that they will surely carry out, or to accuse those who denounce them as racists.

Knowing how wokeism works, Disney will not miss the opportunity provided by The Little Mermaid to subvert and deconstruct the original values of the story.

It will surely launch very different messages regarding romantic love, as it is not very feminist; it will alter the father-daughter relationship, to make it less “heteropatriarchal;” it will somehow redeem the villain Ursula, so as not to incur in “fatphobia” or “transphobia;” and Prince Eric will abandon his “toxic masculinity,” will abdicate and become a newt, because Ariel was already perfect as a mermaid and does not have to become human or perpetuate anachronisms such as monarchy. Remember these predictions.


Ignacio Manuel García Medina, Business Management teacher. Artist and lecturer specialized in Popular Culture for various platforms. Presenter of the program "Pop Libertario" for the Juan de Mariana Institute. Lives in the Canary Islands, Spain // Ignacio M. García Medina es profesor de Gestión de Empresas. Es miembro del Instituto Juan de Mariana y conferenciante especializado en Cultura Popular e ideas de la Libertad.

Social Networks: @ignaciomgm

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