Disney’s new live-action remake of The Little Mermaid has caused a stir in South Korea. Halle Bailey has been cast as Ariel, and fans have been eagerly awaiting the reveal of her voice actor. Disney Korea recently posted a poster featuring a silhouette of the actress, who has been revealed to be Danielle Marsh, a member of K-Pop group NewJeans. A snippet of the song “Part Of Your World” sung by Marsh in Korean was leaked online, and her fans have expressed their enthusiasm for her performance.
However, the casting of Marsh has also highlighted the issue of colorism in Korea. The contrast between the original African-American actress and the white-skinned Korean singer is a reflection of the discrimination based on skin tone that exists in the country. This discrimination is one of the manifestations of racism in Korea, and it is particularly evident in the importance that is given to having white skin.
While racism has been revealed to be on the decline in Korea in recent decades, it is still a serious problem. Discrimination against foreigners, particularly those from poorer Asian countries with darker skin, is common. Westerners, especially Latin Americans and Africans, are also subject to racism, which is often transmitted by parents to their children.
Despite this, there are signs that Korea is on the right track to eradicating racism. If The Little Mermaid proves successful in the country, it could be a good sign that racial prejudice is being left behind. It remains to be seen how the Korean public will react to Marsh’s performance, but her casting has certainly sparked discussion about the issue of colorism in the country.