In September 2021, Disney announced the movie remake of the iconic classic “The Little Mermaid.” The movie announcement was faced by controversy on social media as the star “Ariel” would be portrayed by Halle Bailey, an African American singer. In response to the controversy, a local Facebook Page was founded.
The brainchild of Elizabeth Morales, the Little Mermaid Give Back Group became the discussion group of how the community could come together to provide the opportunity for young persons to view the movie. The group decided that they would each contribute towards the initiative.
“Representation Matters!! It’s extremely important for our young women to see that they have the potential to be whoever they aspire to be. For far too long the characters that we were raised on and love were not portrayed by us. When we support this movie, it means supporting the dreams of our young girls,” Morales said.
The Little Mermaid Give Back group is providing young ladies on all three islands the opportunity to see the movie. What started as collections from members in the group later expanded to sponsorship opportunities when one group member contacted Ella’s Hope, who thought the idea was so great that they decided to fund the cost of two theaters. Ella’s Hope is a local organization that is dedicated to funding research for the rare severe neurological disorder Rett syndrome.
The territory’s one resident with Rett syndrome Ella Gaspard is for whom the organization is named. They are a platform for raising awareness and fundraising to help find a cure for every girl suffering from Rett syndrome, as the disease affects almost only girls. Please visit Ella’s Hope to learn more about Rett syndrome and Ella’s journey for a cure.
The showing for the St. Thomas/St. John District is scheduled for Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Distribution for the tickets will be announced on the Giveback group’s social media page and on Ella’s Hope’s Facebook Page. Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.