Donald Glover has shared advice with Halle Bailey, who has been cast as Ariel in Disney‘s upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.

Glover supported the 19-year-old not against backlash coming from critics who didn’t appreciate Disney’s decision to cast a person of colour to play the titular character.

Asked about the casting announcement, Glover told E! News at the premiere of The Lion King, in which he voices Simba: “I thought that was so special.

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“We were just watching that film and I’m like, that’s such a great story but I’m just like, I don’t know, 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.”

Bailey, who forms the R&B duo Chloe X Halle​ with her sister, was announced as Disney’s future Ariel on 3 July, 2019.

Freeform, a cable channel owned by Walt Disney Television (which airs the TV show Grown-ish starring Bailey and her sister), reacted to critics’ outrage on Instagram a few days ago, telling them that “Ariel... is a mermaid”.

“She lives in an underwater kingdom in international waters and can legit swim wherever she wants,” the message continues.

Jodie Benson, who voiced Ariel in Disney’s 1989 animated version of The Little Mermaid, has also publicly supported Bailey.

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“We need to be storytellers. And no matter what we look like on the outside, no matter our race, our nation, the colour of our skin, our dialect, whether I’m tall or thin, whether I’m overweight or underweight, or my hair is whatever colour, we really need to tell the story,” she said at Florida Supercon, according to