Disney found a 'white' guy to play Prince Eric in "The Little Mermaid", and "13 Reasons Why" actor Christian Navarro is pretty disappointed with it.
Christian Navarro has called out Disney for its decision to finalise Jonah Hauer-King to play Prince Eric, Ariel's love interest in the upcoming live-action retelling of "The Little Mermaid". The 28-year-old shared his thoughts about the casting on social media and wrote: "I guess diversity is just a word. And THATS Hollywood."
Navarro who was also reportedly in running for the role of Prince Eric wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post of a picture of Hauer-King: "Literally @disney saw a who's who list of actors of color and STILL went with the white guy. So much for diversity. I guess two brown leads would have tanked the movie right? Boring."
Navarro went ahead to reactivate his Twitter account to post a message about the casting: "Just came back to say; after months of seeing every person of color they could think of for the role of Prince Eric, @DisneyStudios somehow still cast a white guy. One brown person is enough, two brown leads is unthinkable." He subsequently deactivated his account.
Navarro was reportedly referring to the casting of "brown" actress Halle Bailey who is set to play the lead role of mermaid Ariel.
Neither Disney nor Hauer-King have yet reacted to Navarro's allegations. Disney has announced the casting of only two of the major roles till now- Bailey as Ariel and Hauer-King as Prince Eric, reports People.
On an interesting note, Disney was earlier criticised for casting African-American woman in the role of red-headed underwater princess Ariel. Shortly after it announced that 19-year-old Bailey would be playing Ariel, some racist users started a petition titled #NotMyAriel asking Disney to recast the character with a white actress.
Disney's cable network Freeform and Jodie Benson then issued a statement: "No matter what we look like on the outside, no matter our race, our nation, the color of our skin, our dialect... we really need to tell the story."
"Danish mermaids can be black because Danish *people* can be black," the statement read.
Melissa McCarthy will play Ursula, Javier Bardem will play King Triton, Jacob Tremblay will be Flounder, while Daveed Diggs will appear as Sebastian and Awkwafina as Scuttle in the Rob Marshall-directed film.