Halle Bailey took to her Instagram Stories on Thursday to share an adorable video of a little girl hugging her at Disney World.
The Little Mermaid star, 22, recently documented her trip to the happiest place on Earth, and joined a special event that featured 100 students who are a part of the Disney Dreamers Academy.
And in one of her posts, Helle shared a video of herself carrying a fan who was laying her head on her shoulder.
The little girl, who had her arms and legs wrapped around Halle, proceeded to give her then a big hug.
In the short but sweet clip, Halle can be heard complimenting the young fan by saying, ‘You’re so pretty… you’re so beautiful and sweet.’
And in the background, a woman can be heard telling Halle that ‘Ariel’ is her ‘Favourite Disney princess.’
After hearing that ‘Ariel’ is the little girl’s favourite character, Halle then proceeded to bounce up and down while smiling and hugging the fan.
During the video, Halle also asked the family what the little girl’s name was, to which they responded ‘Mila’.
Halle then continued to say ‘Hi’ to ‘Mila’, and the little girl appeared to hold tightly on to her, not letting go.
A woman in the background responded to the sweet interaction by saying, ‘Oh my god, she won’t let go.’
After sharing the sweet clip, Halle expressed to her fans how much this precious moment meant to her as she captioned the clip with, ‘And I met this beautiful baby Mila Rose who made me cry… she just hugged me so tightly.’
Halle’s visit to Disney World comes after the actress recently spoke about her role in The Little Mermaid, which is set to be released on 26 May.
She also touched on some of the racist messages she received after it was announced in August 2019 that she would be playing ‘Ariel’.
The actress portraying Ariel in Disney’s forthcoming live-action Little Mermaid film said she was shocked to see the slew of hateful comments over her casting.
But Halle said it was heartwarming to see how young fans reacted to a black woman portraying a Disney princess.
‘Seeing the world’s reaction to it was definitely a shock,’ Bailey told Edition magazine.
‘But seeing all the babies’ reactions, all the brown and black young girls, really tore me up emotionally,’ she added.
The hateful comments started when Bailey announced her casting in 2019 and have rolled through to the release of the official trailer this month.
Some comments have included the hashtag ‘#NotMyAriel,’ referencing the whiteness of the original Ariel.
‘If Disney wants more diversity, they should have create another character … Before respecting all the other ethnicities and cultures shouldn’t they at least be respectful to the origin ??? #notmyariel,’ wrote one user.
Another called the film a ‘waste of money’ and said, ‘ race swapping is not okay.’
One artificial intelligence scientist went so far as to edit the Disney trailer to replace Bailey with a white woman with red hair – to match the original animated character.
Although the Twitter account was ultimately suspended, a different user shared a picture of the altered trailer and wrote: ‘He (the original poster) fixed The Little Mermaid and turned the woke actor into a ginger white girl. He says he can fix the whole movie when it comes out with 4x A6000 in 24 hours.’
‘It’s over for wokecels,’ he added.
Bailey said despite the hate, she chose to pivot her focus to some of the more heartening responses to her casting.
Amid the backlash, she saw videos circulating of young black children reacting excitedly to her first appearance as Ariel.
The actress shared a video compilation of little girls smiling and rejoicing when they discover that the new Ariel is ‘brown like me.’
In September, when the movie’s teaser trailer was released, Bailey wrote on Twitter alongside a video compilation: ‘People have been sending these reactions to me all weekend, and I’m truly in awe. This means the world to me.’
Among those who are pleased with Bailey’s casting is the original voice of Ariel, Jodi Benson.
Benson publicly applauded Disney for casting the black singer in the live-action version of the story, saying that the ‘most important thing is to tell the story.’
‘We need to be storytellers. And no matter what we look like on the outside, no matter our race, our nation, the color of our skin, our dialect, whether I’m tall or thin, whether I’m overweight or underweight, or my hair is whatever color, we really need to tell the story,’ she said.