His comments have been met with widespread condemnation online, though Walsh later explained that his statement was a joke.
Speaking on The Matt Walsh Show, the host was speaking to the audience about the new trailer that has just dropped for Disney‘s live action remake of The Little Mermaid.
“With The Little Mermaid, can we just mention that, from a scientific perspective, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have someone with darker skin who lives deep in the ocean,” Walsh said.
He had previously been discussing the merits of casting different races in the role. Bailey, who was previously in TV show Grown-ish, was cast as Ariel back in 2019, a choice that was widely praised at the time.
“If anything, not only should The Little Mermaid be pale, she should actually be translucent,” he said, adding that if you “look at deep sea creatures they’re like translucent. They have no kind of pigmentation whatsoever. And they’re just like these horrifying skeletons floating around in the ocean.
“That’s what The Little Mermaid should look like, she should be totally pale and skeletal where you can see her skull through her face, and that would actually be a version of The Little Mermaid I would watch.”
Jason Campbell of Media Matters shared the clip of Walsh which got 1.6 million views and led to the political commentator going viral online.