‘The Little Mermaid’ Makeup Lead Responds to Calls for Queer Artist

“The Little Mermaid” make-up designer Peter Smith King has responded to criticisms of the revamped Ursula look that Melissa McCarthy brings to life within the new live-action remake, particularly contending towards a perception {that a} queer artist ought to have landed the job.

Rob Minkoff, the character animator of the unique 1989 movie, pulled reference from the late drag performer Divine for Ursula. When talking with Time, Minkoff stated “Divine seemed like such a great, larger-than-life character, and it just seemed like a funny and quirky idea to take [Ursula] and treat her more like a drag queen.”

Since the primary footage of McCarthy’s Ursula was revealed, King’s iteration of the aquatic villain has been met with criticism from some drag performers. “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 14 contestant Kerri Colby responded to a video on Twitter, stating that “[this is] absolutely why we should hire up and coming queer artists with a pulse on the present and a vision for the future more often.”

King responded to the critiques in a current interview with Insider. “I find that very offensive,” he stated. “Why can’t I do as good a job as a queer makeup artist?”

“That’s ridiculous. That’s trying to claim it and that’s fine, if that’s what they wanna do,” stated King. “But don’t put people down because they’re not what they want it to be.”

When engaged on the search for the character, King says he had a detailed partnership with McCarhty. “We discussed everything. I mean, we both laughed about how much we love drag queens and drag makeup and stuff,” stated King. 

King additionally revealed that his Ursula wasn’t based mostly on Divine like Minkoff’s”: “It wasn’t based on any drag acts at all.” 

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