It seemed like everyone was over-the-moon when Disney announced Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid live-action remake, but as it turned out, Christian Navarro wasn’t happy. The 13 Reasons Why actor took to social media after the casting announcement and shared his thoughts in since-deleted tweets and Instagram Stories.
“Just came back to say; after months of seeing every person of color they could think of for the role of Prince Eric, [Disney Studios] somehow still cast a white guy,” he said on Twitter. “I guess diversity is just a word. And THATS [sic] Hollywood. One brown person is enough, two brown leads is unthinkable.”
That’s not all, a fan captured one of the 28-year-old’s Instagram Stories that showed a photo of Jonah along with a caption that slammed Disney for their casting choice.
“Literally [Disney] saw a who’s who list of actors of color and STILL went with the white guy. So much for diversity. I guess two brown leads would have tanked the movie right? Boring,” wrote.
As fans know, the backlash came just a month after Christian took to Twitter and told fans that Disney heard their pleas and he had sent in audition tapes for the role.
“[Disney] saw this, saw your support, and gave my team a call. They wanted to see what I could do. Tapes sent. Fingers crossed. Let’s make some history,” he posted on September 3.
Other than Christian, Noah Centineo, Harry Styles, Asher Angel, Graham Phillips, Gavin Leatherwood, Jacob Tremblay, and Cameron Cuffe were in talks for the coveted Prince Eric role before it ultimately went to Jonah as reported by Deadline.
“We exclusively told you back in September that Jonah Hauer-King was in the running for the role of Prince Eric in Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid, and today he won the role in the Rob Marshall directed movie,” they wrote.
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