Last week, Disney announced that Melissa McCarthy was in talks to play the infamous sea witch, Ursula, in the highly anticipated live-action version of ‘The Little Mermaid.’ In response, singer Lizzo let it be known that she needs to be in the running as well, for a number of reasons.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Lizzo responded to the McCarthy news with a sad emoji face, then followed up with an old clip of herself dressed in full Ursula glam, singing a snippet of the song “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from the original movie. She tagged Disney with the caption, “I’M URSULA. PERIOD.”
While many Twitter users agreed, others refuted, highlighting the fact that Ursula’s character was inspired by the late drag queen icon Divine, whose real name was Harris Glenn Milstead. Although Divine was a white drag queen, a few argued that the drag queen lifestyle was originated by Black gays. However, according to reports, drag dates back to the 17th Century and Shakespeare.
The fact that they gave a white woman the role of Ursula, and NOT lizzo or Titus, or even any drag queen *cough* BECAUSE URSULA IS BASED ON A BLACK WOMAN AND DRAG QUEENS *cough* is so fucking PATHETIC pic.twitter.com/K1wskub4mL
— leslie ? (@honvycomb) June 29, 2019
Ursula wasn’t meant to be Tritons sister. At all. Like ever. Also Ursula is black literally. She’s based on a white drag queen yes, but her color palate is based on the book where she’s a sea serpent. Also her human for is early Disney black. pic.twitter.com/CAeeIyyi1w
— kory (@KoryMorris0367) June 30, 2019
lol casting a white woman to play Ursula is such a garbage move catch me never seeing that movie. It didn’t have to be lizzo but Ursula is Based off a black drag queen at least respect that origin by casting a POC
— mg (@mary_grace_v) June 29, 2019
I don’t think Ursula is black.. I don’t know, but when she turned into a white girl.. the ‘dark’ version of Ariel that doesn’t really confirm she was white either. She used magic. At the end of the day maybe she’s just a damn octopus or some shit and is purple. ??♀️
— ?❀?❀??? (@baewrekka) June 30, 2019
But now, regardless of the character’s inspiration, many believe the forthcoming live-action film is the perfect opportunity to cast a black woman.
One Twitter user wrote, “You have one job #Disney don’t mess up Little Mermaid! Melissa McCarthy for Ursula? I’m sorry, but no. You can hire: A Drag Queen Queen Latifa Lizzo Keala Settle Tituss burgess” Another tweeted, “Ursula is a black woman or a drag queen, and that’s the facts. Justice for Lizzo!”
However, other movie fans felt the opposite, stating they never viewed Ursula as a black character. One user tweeted, “who watches #TheLittleMermaid and thinks Ursula is black? are you guys insane ? #Ursula” Another Twitter user wrote, “1. Black people are legit begging to cast a villain as a Blk woman (Lizzo) when Blk women have yet to be cast as heroines. Why? WHY? Ursula was never Black. She was an older white woman from Louisiana with a husky voice. Ever heard of Lauren Bacall or Kathleen Turner? Like damn!”
Do I think Lizzo would be a bombass Ursula? Yes. But the “Ursula is definitely black” thing? This ain’t the hill I’d die on. pic.twitter.com/97B0jSvQvA
— Paula Anne (@madamepau) June 30, 2019
People keep saying “Ursula is black” “They need to cast a plus size black woman” like no bitch, she’s purple and she’s a fucking SEA WITCH. A being far from subject to y’all dumb ass insecurities and feelings about skin color. Niggas be feeling so entitled, shut the fuck upppp‼️
— Hot Gyal Ri? (@badgalrishi) June 29, 2019
i’m confused by ppl saying ursula from little mermaid is black because she’s uh…. she’s heavily based on a white drag queen. i don’t know where this is coming from i thot we all knew she’s Divine? pic.twitter.com/dxFKw0vVZz
— Meat Lover ?? (@grubsludge) June 29, 2019
What do you think? Who do you feel would be best cast as Ursula on the new live-action adaption of ‘The Little Mermaid’?