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What A Weekend!

It's Mond...Tuesday, so you know what it is! It's Blog Day (it was a holiday yesterday and I didn't work...really) and man, what a weekend it was!

There are a few things on my mind from this weekend and I'm just going to touch on some of them.

First, the new Disney Live-Action version of The Little Mermaid is out now. This movie has been marred with all kinds of controversy because Disney hired a Black actress to play Ariel, the mermaid Princess who in the animated classic, is drawn to resemble a White girl. Personally, I was just happy that Ariel had red hair.

So, here's where my concern comes in, and this may be an unpopular opinion, but Disney Live-Action movies suck (with an exception for the Live-Action Aladdin). If I was to compare two of them, Aladdin and The Lion King, I'd draw your attention to the CGI in both. See, in Aladdin, the movie consists of most human characters so to have human just play them is simple. Even Will Smith as the Genie isn't blue the entire time making that easy AND the times he isn't blue make sense to the story.

The Lion King is all animals. ALL animals. Honestly, I'm not 100% sure why Disney even bothered with this. Just because they could?! As the expression goes, "Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD." Being "lifelike" (and that's being generous) just creates a disconnect between this movie and the animated classic that I loved.

Sidenote: I've been blessed to see both Aladdin and The Lion King on Broadway (but not in NYC) and they are both incredible. The Lion King. It was theater and the human characters works a million times better than the CGI animals. If you get to see it, don't be late. You NEED to be there for "The Circle of Life" opening.

What does any of this have to do with The Little Mermaid? Well, there is already controversy and pushback against the controversy to such a degree that I feared that the movie with suck (and to be clear, this has NOTHING to do with Hallie Bailey, the Black actress playing Ariel, or any of the other people involved with this movie. Who doesn't love Melissa McCarthy?! But if/when the movie is thought to be bad, some people will judge it honestly and be deemed racist because the average person no longer has the ability to accept words at face value. "I didn't like this movie" translates into "Oh, you didn't like this movie because, what? Ariel's Black?!" or "I didn't like the lead's acting" becomes "Mmm Hmm, gee, I wonder what it was you didn't like about her?" or "I didn't like the CGI" becomes "Oh, it's the CGI you didn't like, is it now?"

We want to protect and elevate the creative and professional spaces of People of Color, Queer Persons, and Women, which I'm ALL down for, but we have to accept that sometimes the business practices of that person of color aren't managed well, or that queer person can't actually sing, or the paint that woman made is poorly executed without being viewed as a person filling with or responding with hate and disdain. For example, I'm all for gay people in music but, "Unholy" is a great hook with okay lyrics with it (still a bomb-ass track, make no mistake) and I don't like Adam Lambert alone and especially with Queen (yes, because he's not Freddie).

Funny enough, the actual big story complaint about The Little Mermaid since its actual release is that it sends the wrong message to little girls with Paloma Faith saying, quote, "Just seen the new little mermaid with my kids and while I think Hallie gives a good performance and it's great casting, as a mother of girls I don't want my kids to think it's ok to give up your entire voice and your powers to love a man."

Now, I haven't seen the movie yet (and since my daughter is seeing it with her school, I'm likely not taking her) I don't know if there are any changes story-wise, but assuming there aren't any changes, it's the same message the original Disney movie put out in November of 1989 which, as I take it, "You have to do what it takes to get what you want" or, I suppose, "It's okay to give up what makes you you for the sake of love", if that's how your mind works.

In the end, it's WAY too late to be worried about this message now. Just enjoy the movie and have a talk with your daughters afterwards (I intend to and it just might be a podcast. Why not?)

So I guess that was all of my weekend. I SURELY didn't do anything ELSE this weekend. Definitely didn't sit and record a short film I wrote! AHHHH!!! I totally did!

Listen, there's going to be SO much more about all this later, but to my people that bought life into my work, thank you so very much! As someone who got back into writing as a means to battle my depression and anxiety, to be able to say, "I wrote something and it's been accepted and translated onto film" is a life milestone I'll be forever grateful for. We had some ups and downs and we learned some lessons, but I'm forever proud of the work we did. Thank you.

And on that note, have a great week!

- The Moon

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