While many were excited to see her bring a new twist to the role, others weren’t so thrilled, tweeting their anger over the casting of a Black actor through the hashtag #notmyariel.
Halle said in an interview at the time that she was trying not to “pay attention to the negativity” — but in all honesty, it stung.
Halle recently opened up to Variety about how the criticism affected her and how she dealt with it, saying that her family was a big source of support.
“It’s important to have a strong support system around you,” her sister, Chloe Bailey, told the outlet. “It’s hard to carry the weight of the world on your own.”
Halle explained that once she shared the situation with her family, they gave her words of encouragement that helped her overcome all the negativity she was getting online.
“It was an inspiring and beautiful thing to hear their words of encouragement, telling me, ‘You don’t understand what this is doing for us, for our community, for all the little Black and brown girls who are going to see themselves in you,’” she said.
She also thought about what her own experience would have been like had she grown up seeing a person of color in that role. “What that would have done for me, how that would have changed my confidence, my belief in myself, everything,” Halle said. “Things that seem so small to everyone else, it’s so big to us.”