Sat | Oct 31, 2020

Costume catastrophe! - Clawless outfit overshadows Shaggy’s performance as Sebastian

Published:Thursday | November 7, 2019 | 12:16 AMShereita Grizzle/Staff Reporter
Viewers were highly critical of Shaggy’s Sebastian costume during The Little Mermaid Live on ABC on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.
Viewers were highly critical of Shaggy’s Sebastian costume during The Little Mermaid Live on ABC on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.

Grammy-winning reggae artiste, Shaggy, made his debut as Sebastian the crab on ABC’s live musical production, The Little Mermaid Live, on Tuesday night. But while his vocals brought an authenticity to the role, making his performance believable, his presentation was completely overshadowed by what critics have dubbed a ‘costume catastrophe’.

In almost every review of the show in the international media yesterday morning, Shaggy’s costume was the main talking point. US Weekly reported that while the 51-year-old singer wore red, nothing else showed he was playing a crab. They also reported on the buzz the ABC oversight caused on social media. According to some posts, Shaggy’s costume made him look more like Michael Jackson in Thriller than Sebastian; others said the It Wasn’t Me singer’s look resembled that of Britney Spears’ outfit from her Oops I Dit It Again video. People were particularly upset about Shaggy’s missing claws, pointing out that if he’s playing a crab, claws are an essential part of the costume.

“How is wearing a red jacket and red pants suddenly make him a crab? They should have at least given him claws or something,” one user tweeted. “So Little Mermaid play was cool ... but uhm Shaggy was too cool to at least wear claws or sumn? He the only one without a costume. That was wack on his part,” another tweet read.

The stream of unflattering comments about Shaggy’s Sebastian’s costume became so overwhelming that ABC’s Senior Vice-President of Alternative Series, Specials & Late-Night Programming, Robert Mills, took to Twitter to explain the network’s decision behind the ‘clawless Sebastian’. “For those wondering, Shaggy wore crab claws in early rehearsals and it looked ridiculous,” he said, sharing a photo of Shaggy wearing the costume with claws to prove his point.

Despite the negativity surrounding his live TV debut, Shaggy’s fans rallied behind the entertainer, some pointing out that instead of focusing on costuming, the reviews should have analysed his performance. “They couldn’t have picked a better person to play Sebastian. Yes, costume is important but you absolutely slew the part,” one user commented on Instragram. “Your voice was perfect for the role. You sounded the part and that’s all that matters,” another posted.

Meanwhile, Shaggy took to his Instagram page to thank persons for joining him on his latest journey. “Amazing night. Thanks to all my well-wishers and everyone who made it possible. Thanks to ABC and the wonderful world of Disney for the opportunity.”