On Tuesday, The Rings of Power star Ismael Cruz Córdova tweeted a supportive message to actress Halle Bailey, who will be portraying the title character in Disney’s live-action version of The Little Mermaid next year.
“Darling [Halle Bailey] congratulations…the rest? Have a great time in your caves,” Córdova wrote in Spanish. It was a response to another tweet that referenced the racist comments that people were making online when a new The Little Mermaid teaser trailer hit online last week. Many of them are upset that Bailey, who is Black, was cast to play a character who was white in the original 1989 animated classic from Disney.
The tweet from @ToIkienverse reads in Spanish, “What is happening with The Little Mermaid is the same thing that is happening with The Rings of Power. People complaining about having Black characters. And it’s unfortunate and very sad. Representation matters and for many children it can make a very big difference.”
It’s been well documented how much racial animus there has been for The Rings of Power over the casting of BIPOCs, including Córdova. He isn’t, however, about to give up the platform he has earned in the fantasy franchise.
“Our people feel ready to take these stories, ready to occupy these spaces,” he told Remezcla in a recent interview. “I feel an incredible amount of pressure and responsibility that I fully welcome. You know, this is not something that makes me feel daunted or any of those other negative things. It makes me feel galvanized and just honored to be able to bring our people into this world.”
As Córdova did for Bailey, the Rings of Power actor received support from his fellow industry peers. Last week, talent from the original Lord of the Rings trilogy – Elijah Wood, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan and Sean Astin – took to social media to defend Córdova and his BIPOC costars. “You are all welcome here,” Wood tweeted.
If BIPOCs are welcome to Middle Earth, they’re definitely welcome to go under the sea, too.