Movie Wokeness Trend! Let’s Talk About Ariel.

Jacques du Rand 2022-10-11

So the new face of Disney`s Ariel was a shock? Why should it be? Sure the book, The Little Mermaid, describes Ariel in absolute minute detail, and all the animations were spot-on against the book, but it was written in the 1800s. Authors typically wrote what they could relate to. The Little Mermaid was written by the famous Hans Christian Andersen, along with an array of other fairy tales. HCA was Danish. Ariel therefore portrayed the ethnicity of the people he saw in his daily life.

Back then people were also definitely stuck in a rut, and frankly quite racist, classist, chauvinistic and homophobic. So why should Ariel`s portrayal not be brought into the the 21st century along with all the other remakes (or more accurately *inclusions) of characters befitting the age we live in?

What Does Being 'Woke' Mean

'Woke' is an English adjective meaning 'alert to racial prejudice and discrimination' that originated in African-American Vernacular English.

It has been used anywhere and everywhere from marketing voting campaigns to setting fashion trends, restaurants and, more recently, we`re seeing it being portrayed in movie culture.

To be 'woke' is to be aware and aspire to have social diversity and the differing needs of each and every person recognised and be addressed.

For a long time 'cultural minorities' (or marginalised groups), such as LGBQT for example, have been made to feel that they are the outsiders and outcasts. Simply put, being 'woke' signifies an inclusion of everyone, stating that everyone has the right to be here, speak their mind and live their lives in their truth no matter their race or orientation.

It is time that the world starts recognising this. The Little Mermaid is not the first movie to break the mould and show a more inclusive cast. Yet, it is the first one where children are responding in a positive manner seeing an inclusive portrayal of Ariel. How can the world not melt at these reactions?

Percentage Of New A-List Movies With Female, Black Or Gay Leading Roles.

The percentage is small, but growing. It is starting to become a little more mainstream, although many people are still kicking up quite a fuss especially when they see a more inclusive remake of a story.

Other Movies That Have Been Respun Into A More Inclusive Portrayals

  1. Bridgerton - A very inclusive cast set in a very 'exclusive' time.
  2. Oceans 8 & Ghost Busters - Remakes with all female casts. Both draw upon the original films` concepts, but have created new characters rather than simply gender-swapping the existing characters.
  3. Thor Love and Thunder - If you haven`t seen it yet, sorry for the spoiler alert, but Thor`s ex-girlfriend becomes a 'Thor'.
  4. Dickinson - the irony of course being that it is not a remake, but a telling tale of what happened. Emily Dickinson had to publish only a few (10) of her poems (1,800) anonymously as it was an age where women were not allowed to write (or do many other things we now take for granted).
  5. The Little Mermaid - In 2022 the Little Mermaid`s lead actress was black.

Which movies do you think need a 'woke' makeover?

Even though South Africa`s power company may be in desperate need of a make-over, here are ways to keep your internet up during load shedding so you don`t miss any of your favourite series.