Aladdin star deactivates Twitter account after backlash over Little Mermaid comments

Aladdin star deactivates Twitter account after backlash over Little Mermaid comments
2 min read
18 May, 2023
The Disney spat prompted Mena Massoud to delete his Twitter account.
Massoud played Aladdin in the Disney classic's live-action film in 2019 [Getty]

Hollywood actor Mena Massoud has deactivated his account on Twitter after receiving criticism for claiming the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid will fail to generate over a billion US dollars in box office revenue.

Egyptian-Canadian actor Massoud was Aladdin in the Disney classic’s live-action remake in 2019. The Little Mermaid, set to be released next week, has already sparked discussion and criticism due to the casting of Halle Bailey, who portrays Ariel, with some questioning the decision based on the character's appearance in the 1989 animated film.

The actor's comment came in response to The Hollywood Handle, a website that predicted The Little Mermaid's US box office opening to generate $115 million, surpassing the earnings of the Aladdin movie.

"Our film was unique in that audiences went to watch it multiple times. It's the only way we reached the billion-dollar mark with our opening," Massoud tweeted on 13 May.

"My guess is TLM [The Little Mermaid] doesn't cross the billion mark but will undoubtedly get a sequel."

The backlash he faced as a result of his tweet led him to deactivate his account."

Some have claimed the sensitivity surrounding The Little Mermaid movie and the defensiveness of social media users and film lovers came due to the debate on why Ariel is Black and not White, like in the 1989 animated film.

Other big names in the film are Melissa McCarthy playing the antagonist Ursula, and Javier Bardem playing King Triton, Ariel’s father.