Disturbed's David Draiman calls out "bigots" outraged at the very idea of a black mermaid

Ariel The Little Mermaid and David Drainman
(Image credit: Ariel - Disney / David Draiman - Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Disturbed frontman David Draiman has offered his thoughts on the internet's latest heated 'culture war' debate, and suggested that those expressing outrage over the historical accuracy of mermaids may want to take a moment to consider the true source of their rage. 

For those wondering exactly why a heavy metal vocalist might get drawn into a debate on any matters pertaining to a fictional aquatic creature with the head/upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish, welcome to 2022! Bear with us...

So, for context, and for the benefit of those not permanently online, the story begins with Disney's decision to cast actress Halle Bailey as Ariel the mermaid in their new forthcoming feature film The Little Mermaid, based upon the classic fairy tale written by legendary Danish author in 1837. This, for some, is a matter of grave, grave concern, for Bailey, one half of the pop duo Chloe x Halle alongside her older sister Chloe, is black, whereas in Disney's 1989 animated feature film adaptation of the fairy story, Ariel was drawn as a half-fish/half red-haired caucasian teenager. Cue legions of adult humans taking to the internet to express their shock, horror and disgust, tagging their posts #notmyariel.

Social media outrage being a key component of modern news reporting, the 'controversy' has now been picked up by mainstream media organisations, leading to further online fury, chin-stroking broadsheet commentary - We are all losers in the ‘woke v racist’ Little Mermaid culture war - and the sourcing of quotes from actresses who have previously been cast in feature film mermaid roles.

All well and good, you say, but where does the heavy metal community stand on the issue?

Well, as yet, we cannot answer this question. However, one singer, at least, has had the cojones to speak up on the matter, and that singer is the aforementioned Mr Draiman, a man always impressively alert to the affairs of the day. 

Posting on Twitter, Draiman writes, "If you have a problem with someone dark skinned playing the role of a fantasy creature like Ariel the mermaid, you're not really worried about 'keeping true to the original story', you're just being a bigot."

This, doubtless, will be an end to the matter, with everyone thoughtfully mulling over the singer's intervention, recognising the truth in his words, and vowing to take a good hard look in the mirror to think extremely carefully about what they ever hoped to achieve by spouting racist bullshit online. Yeah, that's almost certainly what will happen next.

The Little Mermaid is scheduled for cinema release in May 2023. Watch the trailer below:

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.