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Disney princess Kristen Bell worries about what movies teach girls about consent

In this Jan. 18, 2017, file photo, Kristen Bell arrives at the People's Choice Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Bell rode out Hurricane Irma on Sept. 10, 2017, at a hotel on the Walt Disney World resort in Florida. (Jordan Strauss / Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
In this Jan. 18, 2017, file photo, Kristen Bell arrives at the People's Choice Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Bell rode out Hurricane Irma on Sept. 10, 2017, at a hotel on the Walt Disney World resort in Florida. (Jordan Strauss / Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
By Lindsey Bever Washington Post

As sexual assault survivors continue to share their stories, sparking a worldwide #MeToo reckoning, actress Kristen Bell is publicly expressing concern about “Snow White” and the prince who kissed her without consent.

Bell, who provided the voice of Princess Anna in Disney’s animated film “Frozen,” told Parents magazine that when she reads “Snow White” to her two young daughters, she poses a question: “Don’t you think that it’s weird that the prince kisses Snow White without her permission? Because you cannot kiss someone if they’re sleeping!”

She told the magazine she also warns her 3- and 5-year-old daughters not to take apples – or anything else – from strangers.

Scholars, activists and other parents have made similar arguments about the “Snow White” kissing scene – saying that Disney’s adaptation of the German fairy tale fosters the wrong ideas about sexual encounters and consent.

Kazue Muta, a sociology professor at Osaka University in Japan, wrote on Twitter late last year that children’s stories such as “Snow White” promote sexual violence.

“When you think rationally about ‘Snow White’ and ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ that tell of a ‘princess being woken up by the kiss of a prince,’ they are describing sexual assault on an unconscious person,” she wrote in Japanese, according to Fox News. “You might think I’m ruining the fantasy of it all, but these stories are promoting sexual violence, and I would like everyone to be aware of it.”

Earlier this year, Amnesty International Canada posted a rendition of the children’s classic titled “No Consent = No Fairy Tale,” showing Prince Charming kiss an unconscious Snow White before groping the princess between her legs. A nearby owl interrupts the apparent sexual assault, shouting an expletive and throwing a nut at the prince’s head.

Bell was not the only celebrity mother to express recent concerns about Disney princesses.

Keira Knightley said earlier this week on “The Ellen Show” that her 3-year-old daughter is banned from watching certain children’s movies because they send the wrong message.

“ ‘Cinderella’ - banned,” said Knightley, who played Robin Hood’s daughter in Disney’s “Princess of Thieves.”

“Because, you know, she waits around for a rich guy to rescue her. Don’t. Rescue yourself, obviously.”

“And,” she added, “this is the one that I’m quite annoyed about because I really like the film but ‘Little Mermaid.’ I mean, the songs are great but do not give your voice up for a man. Hello.”

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