Trevor Noah Dismantles Racist Response to ‘The Little Mermaid’ Trailer: ‘Really, People? We’re Doing This Again?’

·2-min read

Trevor Noah took aim at the racist backlash to Disney’s live-action “The Little Mermaid” trailer on Thursday’s “The Daily Show,” wondering why we’re all doing this again.

Shortly after racist backlash to people of color playing elves and dwarves in Amazon’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” series, Disney debuted the first trailer for “The Little Mermaid” that revealed Black actress playing Ariel. Racists on the internet, predictably, were extremely Mad Online.

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“Once again a bunch of internet racists are upset that a fictional character is being played by a Black person, and honestly I don’t know what the big deal is,” Noah said before joking, “You guys realize that Nemo was Black too, right? Yeah, that whole movie was about a fish that can’t find his dad. Calm down, I can say that because my dad left and he’s white, so who’s racist now?”

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The jokes continued, “First of all, of course the Little Mermaid is Black. Everyone whose name starts with Lil’ is Black. Lil’ Wayne, Lil’ Nas X, Lil’ Kim. Honestly if you heard there was a woman named Lil’ Mermaid you’d just assume she was on a track with Cardi B.”

But then Noah launched into another joke with a stinging twinge of truth to it.

“Stop being ridiculous. It’s imaginary,” he began. “I hope this scandal doesn’t overshadow the rest of the movie. ‘The Little Mermaid’ is a beautiful story about a young woman changing her core identity to please a man, let’s not forget about that, people.”

Noah concluded the segment by underlining the ridiculousness of the whole backlash and also pointing out that Disney introduced a Black mermaid in the animated “Little Mermaid” series that aired from 1992 to 1994 and nobody batted an eye.

“If we had more time we could talk about how Disney already created a Black mermaid 30 years ago and nobody cared, or how there’s still plenty of white princesses for little girls whose dream it is to be in a monarchy. And let’s not forget, you can still watch the original ‘Little Mermaid.’ It’s not like if you try to turn it on Mickey’s gonna jump out of the screen and go, ‘You’re racist, haha!’”

Watch Noah’s segment in the video above. Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” opens in theaters on May 26, 2023.

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