Donald Glover is pretty familiar with playing an iconic Disney character.
The Grammy award-winning musician currently stars as Simba in Disney’s live action remake of the 1994 classic.
Earlier this month, it was announced that Halle Bailey has been cast as Ariel in the upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.
While many people celebrated the groundbreaking casting — Halle will be the first woman of color to portray the role on screen — there was some racist backlash as well.
This week, Donald was asked about the controversy while promoting The Lion King and he gave some pretty sound advice that tugged at my heartstrings.
“I thought that was so special,” he told E! News at the film’s premiere. “We were just watching that film and I’m like, that’s such a great story but I’m just like, I dunno, I just hope that she’s like having fun and don’t let anybody make you feel the opposite of how you want to feel. It’s a very special role and you earned it, so I hope you’re listening.”
We hope that Halle was listening, too. While the singer hasn’t addressed the criticism directly, she did say she was feeling “really grateful right now” after the announcement.
Freeform, a Disney network, and Jodi Benson, the woman who voiced Ariel in the original film, also released statements in defense of Halle.
Meanwhile, we too will be here rooting for her when The Little Mermaid hits theaters sometime April 2020. Congrats again, Halle!