Disney's new live-action version of "The Little Mermaid" has been met with mixed reviews, but one aspect of the movie that has elicited an especially intense negative reaction is the song "Scuttlebutt," which features Ariel's sidekick Bird Pal Scuttle (voiced by Awkwafina) rapping.
Critics have skewered the song, calling it obnoxious, unnecessary, and – in the words of Daily Wire podcast host Matt Walsh – "terrible."
"Listening to it makes me want to throw myself into the sea," Walsh said of the song. "Words cannot capture just how terrible it is. If I heard this song, and then over the next 12 hours my house burned down, and I lost my job, and I was diagnosed with a terminal illness, the song would still be the worst thing that happened to me that day."
Ben Shapiro, also of Daily Wire fame, expressed a similar sentiment when he said on Twitter: "If ever you want to get information out of a terrorist and time is running out, violate the Geneva Conventions by strapping him to a chair and playing this at full volume."
Commenters on YouTube audio of the song echoed the critiques, with one saying, "Bravo, Disney, bravo. This song. This song right here. It has made me want to drown myself in the bottom of the ocean. This truly is the real 'The Little Mermaid' experience.”
Another remarked: “This is incredible. I didn't know music could get much worse than it has been since 2010-ish. But this just hit a low point I didn't even know exists."
"Scuttlebutt" was written by "Hamilton" composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, known for contributing massive hits to other animated Disney films, including composing Moana's "You're Welcome," and Encanto's "We Don't Talk About Bruno."
The song involves Scuttle relaying information about Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King) to Sebastian (Daveed Diggs). It features a fast-paced rap sequence.
Inside the Magic reports that Awkwafina initially hesitated about the song's inclusion in "The Little Mermaid."
"It was so cool to perform a song that [Manuel-Miranda] wrote for the character," she said. "It's an honor. It's like, 'Are you sure even want to do this?' But then I was like, 'At the end of the day, if it doesn't work, you don't have to use it.'"
Though Miranda is known for some of the biggest hits in the Disney pantheon, "Scuttlebutt" seems destined for the scrap heap. Critics have roundly panned the song, and it remains to be seen whether Disney will keep it in the final version of the movie.