Twitter Reacts to Melissa McCarthy As Ursula in Live-Action 'The Little Mermaid'

Melissa McCarthy is in early talks to play the sea witch Ursula in a live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid, Variety reported on Friday.

But some Twitter users weren't so pleased with the news, suggesting that filmmakers should cast a character who more closely resembles the real inspiration for Disney's evil sea witch—a drag queen.

Ursula, who preys on the kind-hearted Ariel, was apparently based on the late drag queen icon Divine, whose real name was Harris Glenn Milstead. She broke into the limelight in the early 1970s thanks to lead roles in films like Mondo Trasho and Pink Flamingos.

Divine died in 1988—prior to the premiere of The Little Mermaid in 1989. But now with a live-action film in the works, some have opined that someone who more closely resembles Divine should be cast as Ursula.

And from all appearances, that's why Melissa McCarthy trended on Twitter on Friday.

Many took to the platform to scoff at the idea of McCarthy as Ursula and propose several other options that they deemed better.

Linking to an article about McCarthy as Ursula by The Hollywood Reporter, queer writer and activist George M Johnson said:

"TS Madison


Danielle Brooks

That's the list. That's it. Cast one of them or keep it on the playground."

Several others suggested American musician Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson.

While Lizzo is not a drag queen, her big, eccentric personality on stage and on social media has garnered a lot of attention lately. And she doesn't "ascribe to just one thing" as far as sexuality or gender," Teen Vogue reported in 2018.

She was also a guest judge on RuPaul's Drag Race.

Get it, @lizzo! 👏#DragRace

— RuPaul's Drag Race (@RuPaulsDragRace) May 25, 2018

Isabel Sophia Dieppa-Betancourt, an investigative reporter for the Pulitzer Center, tweeted: "You have one job @Disney don't mess up Little Mermaid! Melissa McCarthy for Ursula? I'm sorry but no.

You can hire:

A Drag Queen

Queen Latifa


Keala Settle

Tituss burgess"

Lizzo also posted twice about the rumored casting. First, she tweeted a sad face with a Variety article about McCarthy potentially playing Ursula. Three hours later, the entertainer tweeted a sad face again—this time, with a video from last October of herself impersonating Ursula

In the original caption for the video, which was posted on Halloween last year, Lizzo wrote: "I'M URSULA. PERIOD. @Disney."


— Feelin Good As Hell (@lizzo) June 29, 2019

Neither Disney nor Melissa McCarthy responded to the news on social media.

McCarthy did, however, post a photo on June 18 of herself with Lizzo at an event.

The actress wrote: "Hopefully when I grabbed @lizzobeeating and told her I loved her, 1% of her magic was transferred to me so now by osmosis I am 1% that b**ch."

Melissa McCarthy attends the US-Ireland Alliance 14th Annual Oscar Wilde Awards at Bad Robot on February 21, 2019, in Santa Monica, California. She won Worst Actress at the 2019 Razzie Awards. Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images