H.E.R. to Star in Beauty and the Beast Special


Grammy- and Academy Award-winning singer-songwriter H.E.R. has been cast as Belle in ABC’s upcoming animated and live-action special Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration.

Presented by The Wonderful World of Disney, the two-hour reimagining will be taped in front of a live audience at Disney Studios. It will feature never-before-seen musical performances celebrating and paying homage to the classic tale. The special is in honor of the 30th anniversary of when Disney Animation’s Beauty and the Beast became the first animated film to be nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards.

The film is being produced by Done+Dusted in association with Walt Disney Television Alternative and Electric Somewhere. Executive producers are Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians, In the Heights), Caitlin Foito, Hamish Hamilton, Raj Kapoor, Richard Kraft and Katy Mullan. Hamilton is also set to direct.

Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration will air on ABC on December 15 and will stream on Disney+ the next day.

“I can’t believe I get to be a part of the Beauty and the Beast legacy,” H.E.R. said. “The world will see a Black and Filipino Belle! I have always wanted to be a Disney princess, and I get to work with two wonderful directors, Hamish Hamilton and, my favorite, Jon M. Chu. It is very surreal, and I couldn’t be more grateful.”

“With her obvious extraordinary talent and stage presence, H.E.R. is the perfect embodiment of our Belle, and we are thrilled for audiences to see her in this celebration of creativity,” Chu said. “We were both influenced as storytellers by the original animated movie, so it’s very exciting to collaborate together to honor the artistry of that timeless classic while also inspiring a whole new generation of creators.”