Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we get started, Stranger Things season 3 was released on Netflix this week! Did you guys enjoy the season’s 80s aesthetic? How do you rank it compared to seasons 1 & 2? Feel free to take the (spoiler-cautious!) discussion to the comments.
One hot discussion in fandom this week has focused on Disney’s ongoing series of live-action remakes of its classic cartoons. This week saw a key casting announcement for The Little Mermaid (due to start production in April 2020) and the release of a new teaser trailer for Mulan (which should appear in theatres in March 2020).
Taking The Little Mermaid first: we learned this week that Halle Bailey, one half of R&B sister act Chloe x Halle, will be appearing in the role of Ariel. The news that a black actress would be cast in a role drawn as white in the 1989 cartoon prompted a predictable and unfortunate backlash from a vocal minority online, but Bailey-supporting fans rapidly co-opted the discussion by suggesting that for true accuracy the role should have gone to ‘a real mermaid’, reminding others that the Disney Little Mermaid is itself a transformative work, and suggesting that according to contextual clues, Ariel makes more sense as a Caribbean than as a Danish princess. Read More