A lot of critics have been going off about Disney’s decision to cast actress Halle Bailey as Ariel in a live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. They claim the color of one’s skin should determine who is and is not allowed to portray a historically red-haired human-fish hybrid. Clearly, these critics are misinformed, as the Merfolk citizens of the Sovereign Kingdom of Atlantica possess a variety of skin tones. This is just science.
What the critics choose to ignore, however, is that Disney is currently in talks with a number of prominent dungeness crab actors to fill the role of Sebastian, despite the fact that dungeness crabs have no role in what is clearly an Atlantic aquatic environment. Any marine biologist worth her mettle would know that dungeness crabs inhabit the littoral environments of the west coast of North America, and they should have no role in the goings-on of Ariel and friends.
They’re named after Dungeness, Washington for god-sake!
If we let any old crab species fill the role of Sebastian then we’re on a slippery slope of political correctness. One day, you have dungeness crabs singing “Under the Sea.” The next day it could be a blue crab, or, God forbid, a lobster.
Now, I’m not saying I have anything against the species.
Far from it.
I think dungeness crabs are perfectly suited to fill acting roles in Pacific-themed movies, such as Pacific Rim, Pearl Harbor, or maybe even Moana. But they have no place in the world of Flounder and Ursula.
It’s time Disney gets its act together and casts a species native to Jamaica, or at least to the broader Atlantic Ocean, for this coveted role.