Freeform responds to Halle Bailey’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ casting backlash

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Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney(LOS ANGELES) -- After the chatter on social media with hashtags like #NotMyAriel regarding the game-changing casting of Halle Bailey in the live-action The Little Mermaid, Freeform, the network that airs grown-ish, in which she's featured, had some serious thoughts.

The network posted a message Sunday with the caption, "An open letter to the Poor, Unfortunate Souls." In the letter, the network took haters to task and stepped up big time for its star.

"Yes. The original author of 'The Little Mermaid' was Danish. Ariel ... is a mermaid," the post began. "She lives in an underwater kingdom in international waters and can legit swim wherever she wants."

For the sake of the online arguments from a certain segment of Little Mermaid fans, the post followed the assumption that Ariel is actually Danish.

"Danish mermaids can be black because Danish *people* can be black," it continued. "Ariel can sneak up to the surface anytime with her pals Scuttle and the *ahem* Jamaican crab Sebastian ... and keep that bronze base tight. Black Danish people, and thus mer-folk, can also *genetically* have red hair."

The post then hammered home the real purpose of the message, to support the young actress and remind folks Ariel is a work of fiction.

"So after all this is said and done, and you still cannot get past the idea that choosing the incredible, sensational, highly-talented, gorgeous Halle Bailey is anything other than the INSPIRED casting that it is because she 'doesn't look like the cartoon one,' oh boy, do I have some news for you ... about you," it closed, adding the hashtag #MyAriel.

ABC News and Freeform are both part of parent company Disney.

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