Watch out world, she’s a mermaid now. Halle Bailey has been cast as Ariel in Disney’s live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid,” but there has been some backlash to the casting of a black actress. Freeform defended the casting choice.

Bailey stars on “Grown-ish,” which airs on the Disney-owned Freeform. The network’s Instagram account congratulated her on scoring the fin-tastic role, and then it responded to the criticism that Ariel should be white like the cartoon and the Danish author.

After noting that mermaids live in international waters, the account went on to point out that Danish black people exist as do black redheads.

“But spoiler alert - bring it back to the top - the character of Ariel is a work of fiction. So after all this is said and done, and you still cannot get past the idea that choosing the incredible, sensational, highly-talented, gorgeous Halle Bailey is anything other than the INSPIRED casting that it is because she ‘doesn’t look like the cartoon one’, oh boy, do I have some news for you...about you,” the comment concluded.

Read the whole defense below:

After initially posting as a comment on Instagram, Freeform shared the screenshot of the note on Instagram and Twitter.

Bailey’s casting was announced last week. Director Rob Marshall released a statement explaining that she is the perfect Ariel.

“After an extensive search, it was abundantly clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance — plus a glorious singing voice — all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role,” Marshall said (via Variety).

Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina are said to be playing Flounder and Scuttle, respectively. Melissa McCarthy is in talks to play Ursula.

In addition to a new cast, there will be new songs. Original composer Alan Menken is working with “Moana” composer Lin Manuel-Miranda to write a few new tunes for the live-action flick.

Halle Bailey
Halle Bailey is pictured at a special “grown-ish” fan event in Atlanta in November 2018. Freeform/Guy D’Alema
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