Danielle, a member of the K-pop group NewJeans, is facing criticism following her role as the voice of Ariel in the Korean-dubbed version of "The Little Mermaid." The idol, while highly acclaimed for her remarkable vocal performance, is under fire from some international fans who perceive her casting as an issue of racial discrimination.

The controversy emerged as netizens voiced concerns over a non-black singer dubbing a character initially played by a black actress, pointing to it as an example of Korea's prevalent colorism, or prejudice based on skin color. Critics have argued that this incident reflects the overemphasis on light skin within the Korean entertainment industry, a topic widely discussed globally.

"White-skinned female idols dubbed it," one critic stated, accusing Korea of prioritizing lighter-skinned individuals across all domains. This sentiment was echoed in several foreign media outlets which amplified the issue further.

Particularly, international fans from countries where racial representation in media is a central issue expressed their disappointment that a black actress or singer wasn't chosen for Ariel's Korean voice acting. "The skin color contrast is noticeable. In the East, white skin is too important, which is one of Korea's racist expressions," a media outlet noted.

Simultaneously, another wave of criticism arose, alleging that Disney focused excessively on promoting Danielle's voice-over work rather than highlighting the performance of Halle Bailey, the original Ariel. Some critics suggested that Danielle's Korean-dubbed "Part of Your World" MV gaining more views than Bailey's version was a result of this imbalance in promotion.

In response to these criticisms, several Korean netizens countered with questions about the expectation for a multi-ethnic representation in a predominantly homogeneous society like Korea. "Should we have dubbed black people who can speak Korean?" asked one user, questioning the practicality of such an expectation in a country with limited racial diversity.

Amidst these accusations, Disney clarified that Danielle was chosen for her singing and acting abilities following a stringent audition process at their U.S. headquarters. They emphasized that her selection was based purely on her performance skills, and not influenced by her company or popularity.

Nevertheless, this controversy highlights the ongoing discussion about cultural norms, racial representation, and the perception of colorism in the global entertainment industry.