Town Square

The Little Mermaid & Representation in Media and the Arts

A look at the casting choices made for the new film, plus creating more diversity and inclusivity in entertainment.



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Town Square with Ernie Manouse airs at 3 p.m. CT. Tune in on 88.7FM, listen online or subscribe to the podcast. Join the discussion at 888-486-9677, or @townsquaretalk.

When the trailer for the live-action remake of Disney's The Little Mermaid was released online, outrage was sparked by individuals upset over the casting of a black actress as Ariel.

Many others celebrated the casting, as it could inspire young black girls seeing a beloved character like Ariel, played by someone who looks like them.

Joining us to discuss the controversy over the casting and her thoughts on diversity in the arts is someone who understands what Halle Bailey is going through. Delphi Borich is Japanese American, and played Ariel in the recent Theater Under the Stars stage production of The Little Mermaid.

We also talk with media experts who offer their perspectives on representation and creating more opportunities for underrepresented groups in media and pop culture.



Delphi Borich

  • Broadway Actress

Dr. Ninochka McTaggart

  • Sociologist
    Diversity and Inclusion Specialist
    Former Director of Research & Outreach, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
    Author, White Privilege: The Persistence of Racial Hierarchy in a Culture Of Denial

Dr. Tyrone D. Dixon

  • Film Producer & Director
    Media Psychologist
    Professor, Texas Southern University

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