AceShowbiz - Melissa McCarthy's "The Little Mermaid (2023)" make-up artist fires back at critics who say a queer cosmetics expert should have been hired for the job. Oscar-winning Peter King, 68, was criticized by "RuPaul's Drag Race" contestants who think he shouldn't have landed the contract as, in the original Disney movie which came out in 1989, Melissa's sea witch character Ursula was modelled after drag icon Divine.
"Why can't I do as good a job as a queer makeup artist? 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," Peter told Insider about their objections to him doing the job being "ridiculous" and "very offensive."
He added he "personally (doesn't) get" the criticism, which kicked off after a Twitter video of Melissa, 52, being made up by Peter in the movie villain. He said, "Yes, I'm very old now, so that's fine. I get that too, but you know, a makeup artist or makeup designer could design makeup. They don't have to have an attachment to the nature of what they're doing."
Composer Alan Menken, 73, who scored the live action "Little Mermaid" remake, confirmed the character was inspired by Divine in a chat with Entertainment Weekly.
Drag queens including Art Simone, 30, and Kerri Colby, 26, are among those who have slammed Peter's work on Melissa. Art tweeted about his make-up, "When you lie on your resume and end up with the job," while Kerri said "up and coming" LBBTQ+ artists with "a pulse on the present and a vision for the future" should be given work.
In 2011, Melissa posed for a photoshoot with Entertainment Weekly dressed as Divine, the drag queen who famously featured in John Waters' 1972 film "Pink Flamingos". She said looking back on the shoot, "It's my favourite photo shoot I've ever done in my entire life. It still is the one I always talk about."
Melissa has also said she "100 per cent" researched drag queens while preparing for the role in "The Little Mermaid". She added, "I'm a huge, huge fan of drag shows and the whole art of it and the entertainment of it. I've been going to shows since I was not supposed to be going to shows. There's a drag queen that lives in me. I'm always right on the verge of going full-time with her."