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Disney has unveiled a whole stack of upcoming films and TV series we can look forward to seeing next year - with the full cast of the live-action version of The Little Mermaid having now been announced.
And while many are excited to see Halle Bailey take on Ariel in the Disney classic (which will feature some new music from Alan Menken and Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda), others were less pleased to see that Melissa McCarthy had landed the role of iconic villain Ursula.
The backlash stems from Ursula's original design from the 1989 animated feature, with the sea witch inspired by American actor and drag queen Divine.
This has led to many fans heading to Twitter to say that Ursula should not be played by a heterosexual, cis-gendered woman like Melissa.
"Melissa McCarthy as Ursula when the world is full of drag queens?" said one fan.
Melissa McCarthy as Ursula is...disappointing.
- Olivia A. Cole (@RantingOwl) December 11, 2020
Another said: "Something about Melissa McCarthy being casted for the role of Ursula don't sit right with me."
"Melissa McCarthy?? Nooooo, Ursula must be played by a drag queen!" a third vented.
"While I love Melissa McCarthy, an Ursula in drag would have been *chefs kiss*" a fourth pointed out.
Not that I don't like #MelissaMcCarthy but if #Ursula was modeled after drag queen #Divine, why not give Ursula back to the Drag Community? #Disney #LittleMermaid #DragQueen pic.twitter.com/pM6dfQHGnv
- Jennifer Blagg (@BlaggJennifer) December 11, 2020
While a fifth said: "I'd rather Ursula was a drag queen or woman of colour, there's so many better choices for her role."
However, not everyone was disappointed, with others saying the actor "will do great" in the role.
The original 1989 classic saw Pat Carroll voice the witchy octopus, with Whoopi Goldberg voicing the character in Descendants 2.
no hate to Melissa McCarthy but Ursula was based on a drag queen. she's a queer character and I don't understand why a cishet woman would be playing her.
- pipina:sunflower: (@bitchyndlovinit) December 11, 2020
Meanwhile, Sherie Rene Scott and Queen Latifah have played the popular villain on stage.
Despite the backlash, Melissa, 50, has "fallen in love" with playing Ursula.
"It's such a juicy, great part. I can't wait," she told Yahoo Movies.
"I've kind of fallen in love with her. I have seen The Little Mermaid like nine billion times, strangely, so to get to play Ursula was like a dream come true."
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