Stephanie Mills took to social media to share her support for Halle Bailey as the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid hit theaters over the weekend. Mills starred as Dorothy in the Broadway musical The Wiz in the 1970s and compared her experience at the time—which included receiving “so much hate mail”—to the racist backlash Bailey has faced.
“I was told Judy Garland ‘is turning over in her grave,' ” Mills wrote. Garland starred in the original 1939 Wizard of Oz movie. “All because a little black girl was playing a role that was once played by a white girl.”
“It’s sad to see the same thing is happening to this beautiful, talented, smart and intelligent actress,” Mills added. “Halle, God put you in this place and time … So let your light shine. Hold your head up high, walk in your peace, and celebrate the greatness that you are.”