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Freeform supports Halle Bailey's 'Little Mermaid' casting amid backlash

Halle Bailey attends Glamour Women of the Year

Halle Bailey attends Glamour Women of the Year Awards in Manhattan on Nov. 13, 2017. Photo Credit: Invision/AP / Evan Agostini

LOS ANGELES — A Disney-owned cable network has taken aim at critics who disagreed with the decision to cast Halle Bailey as Ariel in the upcoming adaptation of "The Little Mermaid."

Freeform posted an open letter on Sunday in support of Bailey after some on social media used the hashtag #NotMyAriel to object to a black woman portraying the redheaded mermaid princess of the animated film. But the network says "Danish mermaids can be black because Danish *people* can be black."

Bailey, 19, is known for being half of the musical sister duo Chloe x Halle. She will star in the live-action version that will include songs from the 1989 animated Disney hit as well as new tunes from original composer Alan Menken and "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Bailey will join Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina in the film.

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