It’s been revealed that Ursula, played by Melissa McCarthy, in Disney’s original animated and live-action remake, was inspired by Divine.
But when a behind-the-scenes clip of McCarthy’s Ursula transformation was shared on Disney’s Twitter account, drag fans were less than impressed with her maquillage.
Many comments made reference to Ursula’s drag origins and the makeup was called out as sloppy and an insult to drag artists.
One post on Twitter said,
Listen if you’re not gonna cast a drag queen for a role inspired by Divine at least have one on the makeup team, it’s not really that deep but this is so embarrassing.”
Drag Race star Kerri Colby weighed in, saying the the look 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…”
The makeup artist under fire, Peter King, is Hollywood A-list with more than four decades of experience working on films like The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Pirates of the Caribbean, Into the Woods, Star Wars, Spider-Man, The Witches and Mary Poppins Returns.
In an interview with Insider King said that when creating Ursula’s look he
didn’t really draw on anything at all...
I played around quite a lot with different colors, different shapes and stuff.
It just was sort of Melissa and I talking and creating. So I didn’t really draw on anything at all.”
As far as the idea that LGBTQ fans thought a queer artist should’ve been involved, King said,
I find that very offensive. 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, but don’t put people down because they’re not what they want it to be.”
King added that even though the original character WAS based on Divine, his design for Ursula’s makeup was NOT,
We discussed everything. I mean, we both laughed about how much we love drag queens and drag makeup and stuff.
But it wasn’t based on any drag acts at all.”
Disney’s The Little Mermaid is out now.
(Photos, screen grabs; via PinkNews)