NYT decries lack of ‘kink’ in children’s movie
The New York Times has stirred online outrage by faulting Disney’s new live-action remake of ‘The Little Mermaid’, a children’s movie, for not including any “kink” in the storyline.
Times film critic Wesley Morris began his review by saying the movie had “noble intentions,” dutifully checking various diversity boxes to gain approval. However, he added that Disney erred by trying too hard to avoid offending audiences: “Joy, fun, mystery risk, flavor, kink – they’re missing.”
Controversy over the review bubbled up earlier this week, when the newspaper posted a Twitter message promoting the piece. It came amid a wave of conservative boycotts against major corporations over alleged sexualization of children and promotion of transgender ideology.
US retailer Target, for instance, has lost more than $13 billion in market value over the past two weeks amid public pushback over a “Pride Month” campaign that featured merchandise for babies and other children.
“The New York Times complaining about the lack of ‘kink’ in ‘The Little Mermaid’ pretty much sums up where we’re at,” said Darryl Cooper, host of the MartyrMade podcast. He added, “Their contempt for traditional values transformed into a seething hatred for ordinary people.”
Fox News contributor Tomi Lahren argued on Tuesday that by promoting the sexualization of children, leftists had galvanized conservatives who normally lack the “intestinal fortitude” to fight for their causes. “They have found the hill that conservatives and decent folks are willing to die on, and that is protecting children. And we will do it every single time. Ask Target, ask Bud Light, ask Kohl’s.”
We will protect children. We will keep them from being exploited. We will do it every time. Do not mess with us. We are done playing with this.”
Morris, the film critic, said that although black singer Halle Bailey was cast to play the lead role of Ariel, ‘The Little Mermaid’ took few chances that might anger “the haters.” He added, “That allergy to creative risk produces hazards anyway.”
The reviewer also critiqued the movie’s allegedly racial undertones, such as a scene in which the character Vanessa, played by a white actress, steals Ariel’s voice and woos her love interest, Eric, with a song. “There’s a whole American history of theft and music to overthink, too,” Morris said.
Morris has won two Pulitzer Prizes for his work, including a 2021 group of essays that explored “the intersection of race and pop culture,” according to his New York Times bio.