Twitter Can't Agree If 'The Little Mermaid's' Ursula Is A Black Woman Or A Drag Queen
If you’re wondering why the Disney character is one of the top trending subjects on Twitter, now you know.
This week came the rumor that Lady Gaga was up for the role of Ursula, the fictional antagonist of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. The news created a divide on Twitter, where some supported the rumored casting while others opposed it, rightfully arguing that a thin woman shouldn’t portray the heavyset octopus.
Although Disney has since confirmed that Gaga hasn’t been chosen for the role (casting hasn’t even started for the film which still doesn’t have a director or principal star), the debate has now turned into if Ursula is a black woman or a drag queen and who of the two should portray the live-action version of her.
TS Madison out of the country?
Did Danielle Brooks pass away?
Was Monique kidnapped?
Is Jill Scott Busy?
Ursula is a BLACK WOMAN. https://t.co/sECaDUpSDP
— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) October 11, 2018
Inspired by a white drag queen, voiced by a white woman. How tf is Ursula Black, cuz she’s big and mean? lmaooooo https://t.co/CxrwZEfMF9
— 215 kha (@_theotherKG) October 11, 2018
Ursula was written & designed after a white drag queen. The fact that she reads as Black is a message about a whole nother layer of fuckery. But they could’ve at least used someone fat. I agree TS Madison would’ve been PERFECT.
— Nereyda (@TwittaHoney) October 11, 2018
As numerous Twitter users have pointed out, Ursula was inspired by the white drag queen Divine (Harris Glenn Milstead). Milstead was featured in a few of filmmaker John Waters‘ movies including Mondo Trash, Multiple Maniacs, and Pink Flamingos. In his passing, Milstead has become a cult figure in the LGBTQ community.
But there is the fact that drag culture — at least in context to its creation in America — was a byproduct of the blackface minstrel show. Originally, performers would only mock black men but then they began to mock black women as well.
Overall, at least most people a part of this discussion agree that Ursula should be large and can sing.
Why is there a conversation happening as to whether or not Ursula was black? 0_o
She was an octopus. Anyone, of any background, can play Ursula as long as they're fat and can sing. lol
— Genie Lauren (@MoreAndAgain) October 11, 2018
Srlsy, @ladygaga, as an epic fan of yours, plz let this rumor die. Ursula is a fat icon & something many of us cling to. We took the fat villain who they tried to make repulsive & we made her an icon. Ursula should be portrayed by a fat person. Don’t take our sea witch from us.
— Julie Murphy (@andimJULIE) October 10, 2018
Only time will tell who Disney ends up picking for the role.