Freeform Posts Open Letter To Instagram, Claps Back At Those Complaining About Casting For 'The Little Mermaid' Remake

While some might be upset at casting for Disney's upcoming live-action version of The Little Mermaid, Freeform isn't having any of it.

The Disney-owned cable tv network posted an open letter to Instagram on Saturday evening, getting candid about the circumstances involving the genetic makeup of the fictional mermaid.

"Yes. The original author of 'The Little Mermaid' was Danish," the letter begins. " a mermaid. She lives in an underwater kingdom in international waters and can even legit swim wherever she wants (even though that often upsets King Triton, absolute zaddy.)"

"But for the sake of the argument, let's say that Ariel, too, is Danish. Danish mermaids can be black because Danish *people* can be black," the post continues, referencing comments on social media that actress Halle Bailey, who is black, is inappropriate to play Ariel, depicted in the 1989 Disney cartoon as a white mermaid with red hair and blue eyes.

"Black Danish people, and thus mer-folk, can also *genetically* (!!!) have red hair," the post adds after referencing Ariel's friends in the cartoon include a Jamaican crab, a seagull and a flounder and they all can talk.

"But spoiler alert - bring it back to the top - the character of Ariel is a work of fiction. So after all this is said and done, and you still cannot get past the idea that choosing the incredible, sensational, highly-talented, gorgeous Halle Bailey is anything but INSPIRED casting that it is because she 'doesn't look like the cartoon one,' oh, boy do I have some news for you...about you," the letter concludes.

Bailey, one of the stars of Freeform's Grown-ish, was announced as Ariel on July 3 and immediately drew criticism on social media for not fitting the image of the Disney princess as presented in the 1989 film.

However, Bailey is not the first nonwhite woman to play Ariel. Diana Huey - a Japanese American actress currently playing the mermaid on The Little Mermaid national tour- told The Wrap that she has never had a child tell her she doesn't look like Ariel.

"I never had one kid in 300-something shows over the course of a year say, 'Oh, you don't look like Ariel.' They would see me come out of the stage door with my hair and street clothes and throw themselves at me screaming. 'Ariel!' when I looked like Diana. The kids were totally on board. So if we just keep doing this, that's the good work we need to do to make the world just a more opened-minded place," Huey said.

Additionally, Broadway star Sierra Boggess - who originated the role Ariel on Broadway - applauded Bailey's casting via Twitter.

I am so here for this casting!!! Yasss! 🧜🏻‍♀️

— Sierra Boggess (@sierraboggess) July 3, 2019

No other casting has been announced for the movie, though Melissa McCarthy is rumored to be negotiating to play Ursula. That news also prompted backlash, with some calling for a drag queen or an actor or actress of color to take on the role.

Halle Bailey
Halle Bailey of Chloe x Halle performs onstage during the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Kevin Winter/Getty