Upon hearing the news Friday that Disney had someone else in mind to play the sea witch Ursula in the highly anticipated live-action version of The Little Mermaid, Lizzo quickly made it known for one and all to see that Disney should surely, “Pick me!”
After taking to Twitter to attach a sad emoji face to Variety magazine’s tweet announcing its story that Melissa McCarthy was in talks to take the part, Lizzo followed up with a clip of herself originally posted late last year. Dressed in full Ursula purple, Lizzo belts out a snippet of the song “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from the original movie, @ing Disney, “I’M URSULA. PERIOD.”
Lizzo wasn’t alone in throwing a little shade on Disney’s reported choice. As Newsweek reports, many on Twitter agreed with her, explaining:
But some Twitter users weren’t so pleased with the news, suggesting that filmmakers should cast a character who more closely resembles the real inspiration for Disney’s evil sea witch — a drag queen.
Ursula, who preys on the kind-hearted Ariel, was apparently based on the late drag queen icon Divine, whose real name was Harris Glenn Milstead.
Divine died in 1988 — prior to the premiere of The Little Mermaid in 1989. But now with a live-action film in the works, some have opined that someone who more closely resembles Divine should be cast as Ursula.
Now, of course, Lizzo is no drag queen, but with her effervescent stage presence, many on Twitter listed her among their top choices of whom they’d like to see as Ursula.
As Newsweek noted, George M. Johnson, queer activist and author of the LGBTQ young-adult book All Boys Aren’t Blue, tweeted:
And then there was this from star of stage and screen Cynthia Erivo:
And additional support from investigative reporter Isabel Sophia Dieppa-Betancourt:
Now, no disrespect to Ms. McCarthy (this writer personally is a fan), but maybe Lizzo (and Twitter) have it right about the need for Disney to have a truly fierce force play the outrageous Ursula.