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LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Halle Bailey of Chloe x Halle performs onstage during the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

As you probably know by now, Disney announced the star of its live-action “The Little Mermaid” last week . . . and she’s BLACK.  It’s HALLE BAILEY from the R&B duo CHLOE x HALLE.

As you probably also heard, a lot of PEOPLE came out of the woodwork to complain about it.

Well, Disney’s Freeform cable channel posted a perfect defense of Halle on its Instagram page.  The obvious point is, of course, that Ariel is a FICTIONAL character . . . so she can be any color at all.

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But since the author of the original story is Danish, they pointed out that there ARE black Danish people . . . and they can even genetically have red hair.

Then they went in for the kill with this message about people who can’t get past Halle’s casting . . . quote, “Oh boy, do I have some news for you . . . about you.”

(A couple more quick notes:  First, people have been confusing Halle Bailey with 52-year-old Halle BERRY . . . who’s obviously too old for the part.  But she did congratulate her younger namesake.)