First of all, the Little Mermaid reboot doesn’t come out until May of 2023, so you might say we can’t give it a fair evaluation, but people have seen this kind of thing play out repeatedly. Everyone knows we’re probably not going to get anything fresh or new. We’re probably not going to get some creative retelling of the story, like say, the way Wicked revised The Wizard of Oz. What we are likely to get is a mediocre reboot of the Little Mermaid mixed in with lots of scolding and virtue signaling. “Go see the Little Mermaid to prove you’re not racist.” “Oh, you don’t like the new version? You must be racist!” It’s not just meant to be entertainment; it’s meant to be politics mixed with entertainment. It’s not meant to be creativity; it’s meant to be a substitute for creativity.
It’s fair to ask why they aren’t just creating a new black princess or mermaid character if that’s what they want. It’s not as if it’s impossible. Look at Encanto or Moana, both of which were huge hits. They were creative, original pieces, not just tired reboots mixed in with scolding about diversity:
You also wouldn’t hear much complaining if it were a case where Disney was choosing someone who’d make the role their own. For example, Nick Fury was white in the comics, but Samuel L. Jackson brought the character to life in a way few other people could have.
You could even point to Black Adam being Egyptian in the comics. However, the Rock has been so obviously excited to play the character and it fits him so well that a lot of the same people that are mocking the Little Mermaid remake are probably stoked to see what he does with the role:
That’s the thing. People aren’t really reacting to race so much as having politics, mediocrity and yes, hypocrisy shoved in their face.
We all know this wouldn’t fly.
Of course, it SHOULDN’T fly. There are a lot of things that shouldn’t fly in Hollywood these days.
Thor’s girlfriend becoming Thor might be in the comics, but it’s an eye roll. Thor is an Asgardian with elite training, thousands of years of battle experience, and the blood of a God flowing through his veins. Jane Foster is an untrained, harmless human female whose primary qualification for becoming Thor was what? Making out with the real Thor? But sure, let’s use her as a replacement for the God of Thunder. Similarly, Miles Morales, who’s a Spider-Man knock-off in the first place, had a “What If” story that featured him becoming Thor. It was widely panned. Why? Because it substituted cartoonish black stereotypes for creativity:
There could be a debate about whether that’s racist or just incredibly cringy, but no one would debate the cringy part. “By Odin’s fade.” Holy sh*t, man. This is especially ironic because “What If” also has a really well-done episode about what would happen if Starlord were actually T’Challa from Black Panther. Nobody was complaining about that because it wasn’t, “Hey, look, Starlord is BLACK! How do you like that, racists?” Instead, it was an extremely creative, fun, and interesting take on how a different personality would have changed things up:
Now we’re starting to cut to the core of the issue. “Diversity” and “creativity” aren’t the same thing. You can’t just change the race or gender of a character and expect everyone to applaud like seals. But wasn’t that exactly the sort of thinking behind the female reboot of Ghostbusters? The original movies were comedic masterpieces with iconic characters and comedy legends like Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Rick Moranis onboard. The movies were made in the late eighties, and they STILL hold up pretty well in 2022:
Taking a franchise like that, pairing it with a humdrum script, and trying to turn it into some kind of female empowerment dreck because it has an all-female cast is practically sacrilege. Of course, people crapped on it. They should have crapped on it. The same way they should be crapping on She-Hulk after they went out of their way to promote it using this scene:
The feminist worldview that says women, by virtue of being women, have it worse than men is grating and laughably out of touch with reality. If you’re a fan of the comics, like many Marvel fans are, it’s even worse. Bruce Banner has not had an ordinary life. He suffered through an abusive childhood and was transformed into a raging monster he couldn’t control. Because of that, he lives in constant fear that he will lose control of himself, he’s hunted by the military, and it ruins his chance to have a normal life. But, she was catcalled, so you know, she knows much more about controlling her anger than he does. That goes all the way past stupid to insulting and it was like a red flag the size of the moon letting everyone know that the show wasn’t going to be good. If you think they’re going to right the ship, keep in mind that scene was from episode 1 and this scene was from episode 2:
Remember the failed Batwoman series that the critics loved, and the audience hated? Same vibe:
People quite naturally despise this kind of gross, left-wing rewriting of reality where women simultaneously have it harder than everyone else and are orders of magnitude more competent than everyone else because of it. This leads to negative responses from a fan base that doesn’t like this garbage, but the shows never admit they screwed up. The response is always that male fans of superhero franchises just don’t like strong women, or we just don’t like minority characters in the lead. Except, we can find plenty of examples of how that’s not true. Just to name a few:
From here, we could just point out that liberals complain about exactly this sort of thing. It wasn’t so long ago that they were complaining about James Franco playing Castro. Remember when liberals bullied white voice actor Hank Azaria into giving up playing Apu on the Simpsons? If these things are a problem, then the Little Mermaid being black is a problem. In fact, some of the people complaining about this are undoubtedly just annoyed by the hypocrisy. Yet, most people who don’t like this are really irritated by what comes next.
In the unlikely event that the Little Mermaid reboot is a great movie, nobody will care about this flap. However, it will probably end up being a third-rate film promoted breathlessly because they replaced a white character with a black one, which will lead to angry carping about racism and complaints about the audience when it doesn’t do well. People watch movies to get away from that, not be immersed in it. They don’t want to be lectured, they don’t want to be talked down to, and they don’t want to be browbeaten. They just want to sit back, forget where they are for an hour and a half, and enjoy themselves. If Hollywood spent more time focused on delivering that experience and less time focused on impressing each other by being woke, we’d all be better off.
Gotta admit I don't partake of very much popular entertainment, and this is exactly why. I will not be lectured by people who have lost all moral pinnings, and purvey ideology instead of entertainment. Just don't need it and I won't spend hard-earned money paying for it.
The most recent movie I've seen that was worth the money was Elvis. Good entertainment is hard to find.
Great assessment. Couldn't agree more.