‘Little Mermaid’ star gets surprise message from pilot

When the trailer for Disney’s live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid” dropped in September, it sparked an emotional frenzy as young Black and brown girls reacted to seeing Halle Bailey in her mermaid debut. Months later, Bailey’s role is still having an impact – and in unexpected places. 

While on a recent Delta flight, Bailey received a surprise message from none other than the pilot. 

“Miss Bailey, it is an honor to have you on board today,” the letter read, according to a picture Bailey tweeted on Monday. “Thank you for being an inspiration to little brown girls all over the world, like we were a few years ago.” 

The letter was signed “Jess O, your young Latina female Delta pilot.” 

“This amazing pilot on the plane gave me this beautiful note today,” Bailey wrote of the letter. 

And Delta’s support of the actor didn’t stop there. After Bailey tweeted about the note, Delta responded, saying, “you’re giving so many little girls wings.” 

“Thank you for letting us be part of your world,” the airline tweeted in reference to the song first performed by the original Ariel, Jodi Benson. 

When Disney launched the trailer for “The Little Mermaid” in September, it immediately caused an emotional reaction for hundreds of children and adults who were excited to see someone with their skin color in the iconic story. The trailer provides a glimpse of life under the sea, with only a few shots of Bailey as she sings “Part of Your World.”

“She’s Brown like me,” one girl said in a video. 

“Mama, she’s Black!” another girl said. 

The movie is expected to be released in theaters on May 26, 2023. 

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