Student Performance of Disney Song Called a 'Violating Ritual'

Princeton's Tigertones regret causing offense
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2018 11:58 AM CST

An all-male a cappella group at Princeton University has temporarily pulled The Little Mermaid's "Kiss the Girl" from its set list after its performance of the song was declared an "offensive and violating ritual." Sophomore Noa Wollstein argued in an op-ed in the Daily Princetonian that the song's lyrics—"It's possible she wants you, too ... Go on and kiss the girl"—are problematic in the way they "unambiguously encourage men to make physical advances on women without obtaining their clear consent." But worse, she wrote, is that the Tigertones call up a male and female member from the audience during the performance and encourage a kiss, per Fox News. This years-long tradition "eerily amplifies the song's assertions of toxic masculinity," wrote Wollstein.

Tigertones president Wesley Brown responded Friday, per the Daily Princetonian, saying the group would rework its performance before singing "Kiss the Girl" again. We "deeply regret" that "performances of this song have made participants uncomfortable and offended audience members," despite "intentional steps towards ensuring that audience participation is more voluntary and consensual" in recent years. Wollstein still feels the lyrics are "more misogynistic and dismissive of consent than cute." But "if they're willing to work on [the performance] and get it to a place where it's not offensive, then I'm all for it," she tells the New York Times. (A radio station has pulled a popular Christmas song for similar reasons.)

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