While I was away, apparently there's been some major controversy about Disney casting a black actress to star as Ariel in the upcoming live-action version of The Little Mermaid. It's a big deal on the white supremacists sites, needless-to-say, but also some Disney "purists" are beside themselves, very upset that this is not the Arilel they grew up with.
While I sort of, kind of, slightly understand the thoughts of a Disney "purist" -- that understanding only goes so far and most I couldn't care less. Not only because it's a fictional character, but also because it really doesn't seem to change much about the story.
But there's another big reason, too.
The Little Mermaid was written by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen in 1837. That's long, long, long, LOOOOONG before Disney adapted their version, and today's "Disney purists" first saw the story. -- which substantially changed from the original. Which is okay...though if one is going to be a "purist" it's certainly worth noting.
But even more than that, back in 1913 -- 106 years ago -- a statue of The Little Mermaid was erected in Copenhagen to honor their Hans Christian Andersen and his story. And while it's not likely that the artist was making an ethno-analysis of the character, and it's just color of the material he chose to use, he could have chosen to use any stone, and in the end, it's all we have to go on.
Yes, just in case "purists" aren't clear -- she's black.