The Original Voice of Ariel, Jodi Benson, Dishes On Halle Bailey’s Casting For Live Action ‘Little Mermaid’

Jodi Benson is defending Disney’s choice to cast Halle Bailey as Ariel in the live action The Little Mermaid movie.

While speaking to a crowd at Florida Supercon over the weekend, the actress, and original voice of the animated character, shared her thoughts about the casting decision.

“I think that the spirit of a character is what really matters. What you bring to the table in a character as far as their heart, and their spirit, is what really counts,” Jodi shared. “And the outside package — cause let’s face it, I’m really, really old — and so when I’m singing ‘Part of Your World,’ if you were to judge me on the way that I look on the outside, it might change the way that you interpret the song. But if you close your eyes, you can still hear the spirit of Ariel.”

She added, “We need to be storytellers. And no matter what we look like on the outside, no matter our race, our nation, the color of our skin, our dialect, whether I’m tall or thin, whether I’m overweight or underweight, or my hair is whatever color, we really need to tell the story.”

Freeform issued a statement over the weekend, defending the decision to cast Halle as Ariel.

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