Disney Star Josh Gad Calls Out 'Pathetic' Racist Response to Halle Bailey 'Little Mermaid' Trailer

Reminding his followers that the character is "a make-believe singing mermaid," Gad showed his support for Bailey's live-action adaptation of the famous role

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 09: Halle Bailey attends D23 Expo 2022 at Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California on September 09, 2022. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney); LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 27: Josh Gad attends the Los Angele premiere for Hulu's "History of the World, Part II" at Hollywood Legion Theater on February 27, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)
Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty for Disney;Rodin Eckenroth/Getty

Josh Gad is supporting his Disney family.

After the first trailer for Disney's live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid debuted during the 95th Academy Awards, Gad, 42, called out the ongoing racist response to Halle Bailey's casting as Ariel, which has resulted in the YouTube video being flooded with 1.2 million "dislikes" as of Saturday.

"Imagine being so broken and pathetic in life that your chief concern is the skin color of…a make-believe singing mermaid," Gad wrote Thursday on Twitter.

The first teaser for the highly anticipated update of the 1989 animated film has additionally garnered 3.5 million dislikes since it debuted in September.

The Little Mermaid director Rob Marshall previously responded to the racist backlash, which has plagued the film since Bailey's casting was announced in 2019, explaining that there was "no agenda" in choosing a Black actress.

"We just were looking for the best actor for the role, period. The end," he told Entertainment Weekly in December. "We saw everybody and every ethnicity."

He explained their criteria was someone "incredibly strong, passionate, beautiful, smart, clever," who exudes "a great deal of fire and joy" in playing the iconic Disney princess.

Bailey told PEOPLE that landing the role has "changed my perspective on everything," explaining in September how it has "impacted my life in so many ways."

RELATED VIDEO: Why Halle Bailey Was 'Sobbing' After The Little Mermaid: 'I Had Come Out of This Cocoon with Ariel'

"The fact that now it's getting to be played by me, a person who looks like me, woman of color, I'm just like, wow, I'm so grateful what it will do for all the other little Black and brown boys and girls who will see themselves in me," said Bailey. "Because I know if I had seen myself when I was younger, I think my whole perspective would've changed."

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The Little Mermaid premieres in theaters May 26.

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