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The Little Mermaid: Makeup artist is ‘offended’ over Ursula criticism

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Peter Swords King, the makeup artist for Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid, is ‘offended’ over criticism that a queer person should have been hired instead.

Led by Halle Bailey as Ariel, the film also stars Melissa McCarthy as the iconic sea-witch Ursula, whose aesthetic – including her eye makeup, jewelery and body type – was inspired by the late drag queen Divine.

In a piece for GAY TIMES, Gabriella Geisinger wrote: “Ursula performs femininity the way a drag performer does. She accentuates stereotypically feminine assets — her hips, her lips — and drapes her eels Flotsam and Jetsam around her like an underwater feather boa.” As a result of Divine’s drag origins, several drag artists have openly criticised the film for not hiring a queer makeup artist.

In response to a video of McCarthy transforming into Ursula, Drag Race alum Kerri Colby opined: “Absolutely why we should hire up and coming queer artists with a pulse on the present and a vision for the future more often.” Drag Race Down Under star Art Simone also tweeted: “When you lie on your resume and end up with the job.” In an interview with Insider, King admitted that he didn’t “draw” on outside influences, such as Ursula in the original animated version or Divine’s signature aesthetic. “No, no.

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