Copenhagen’s ‘Little Mermaid’ statue has yet again been vandalized, now with the words “racist fish” sprayed on its base. The fairy tale character’s cancellation comes in spite of Disney casting a black actress for the movie role.
Denmark’s capital saw the dubious description written on the landmark on Friday. So far, no one has claimed responsibility for defacing the statue of the Hans Christian Andersen character.
“We consider it vandalism and have started an investigation,” a Copenhagen police spokesperson said.
For dozens of years, local protesters have been taking out their political issues on the tourists’ favorite Little Mermaid statue, from feminists to the “Free Hong Kong” movement.
It remains unclear, though, why the Little Mermaid was targeted this time. Ane Grum-Schwensen, researcher at the Hans Christian Andersen Center at the University of Southern Denmark, said she was “having a hard time seeing what is particularly racist” about the fairytale.
The incident could be linked to the ongoing worldwide anti-racist protests, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. Since their beginning, the BLM protests often involved statue vandalism. The demonstrators at first targeted different historical figures, such as Abraham Lincoln or Christopher Columbus.
At some point, the protesters’ chosen statues started to seem unrelated to their cause, which was the case with an elk statue in Portland earlier this week. In Wisconsin, they took things even further and tore down a statue of prominent abolitionist Hans Christian Heg.
Those who called out the Little Mermaid as racist should probably get with the program, though. Last year, Disney had made a widely publicized and controversial decision to cast a black woman for the title part in the upcoming live-action version of the story.
When singer Halle Bailey was announced to play the main character of Arielle, the whole world wide web seemed to split into two parts: those delighted with a win for diversity and others who saw it as pandering or even anti-white racism.
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