Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Does Disney’s Beauty and the Beast promote domestic abuse?

beauty and the beast trailer.jpg

Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast – starring Emma Watson as bookworm Belle – isn’t due to hit cinemas until 2017, but fans are already very excited about the ‘feminist’ re-imagining of the 1991 animated film.

The moral ambiguity of the original film has often been a point of contention for many viewers, with some citing Stockholm Syndrome as the true source of Belle’s affections for the Beast.

Now one teacher has attempted to take the discussion further, producing a lesson plan which encourages students to see the 1991 film as promoting domestic violence.


Read more: Beauty and the Beast director opens up about solving the problems of the original film


“The Beast does not attack Belle but the threat of physical violence is present,” the lesson plan reads, as detailed by Metro. “The movie says if a woman is pretty and sweet natured she can change an abusive man into a kind and gentle man.

“In other words, it is the woman's fault if her man abuses her. And of course, the beast turns into a handsome prince because ugly people cannot be happy.”

The plan goes on to explain that Belle’s “only asset is her sexuality” – and adds that she sets a very bad example to children, feeding into Disney’s ‘sexist’ narrative that “young women are naturally happy homemakers” who spend their lives waiting for a man to come along and “give them life”.

Disney's Beauty and the Beast has been accused of promoting domestic abuse

Disney's Beauty and the Beast has been accused of promoting domestic abuse

The lesson plan called Racism/Sexism in Disney, which is aimed at 11 to 16-year-old students, was put online by a teacher in England for lessons such as RE and Citizenship. It has been viewed over 11,000 times – and downloaded over 600.

However, despite proving popular with fellow teachers, it has sparked outrage amongst others.


Read more: Emma Watson convinced Disney to give Beauty and the Beast a feminist twist


Chris McGovern, Chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, told The Sun: “These lesson plans represent an ignorant, insidious and covert attack on family values and on the ancient wisdom of fairytales.

“They are part of a deliberate strategy to pull apart the ties that bind our society together.

“Fairytales, including Disney versions, allow children to make sense of the world whilst alerting them to its dangers.”

He added: “Like much literature and art, they use stereotypical characters to demonstrate the battle between love and hatred, goodness and evil, honesty and deceit.

“By undermining and subverting that support and tradition these model lessons are cruel to children and they are, also, dangerous to their well-being and to their mental health.

“Many parents will be appalled at the way children are being brain-washed by the promotion of politically correct fanaticism in the classroom.

“They are right to be fearful of the brave new world being created by our so-called ‘education’ system.”


Read more: Emma Watson redesigned iconic Beauty and the Beast ballgown to suit new feminist Belle


A Disney spokesperson, meanwhile, has released a statement refuting the claims made about Beauty and the Beast.

It reads: “For more than 90 years, Disney’s timeless stories and beloved characters, including Disney Princesses, have been universal, relatable and relevant for everyone.

“They are loved by millions of children and adults across gender because it is their inner qualities such as determination, kindness, loyalty, humour, courage and wit that shine through and define them.”

It was recently confirmed that Belle has been given a feminist backstory in the life-action remake, with Watson’s character refusing to don a corset, and using the knowledge gleaned from reading to invent a series of useful household devices.

This was echoed in the trailer, in which Belle is shown to be confident, brave, and unafraid of anything… even when confronted by the Beast (Dan Stevens) himself.


Read more: Emma Watson reveals exciting new changes to Disney’s Beast


The enchanted prince, meanwhile, has also been given a character makeover; unlike the frightening and grave Beast of the animated version, he will be very witty, warm, and friendly.

It is hoped that this will make his budding romance with independent Belle feel more believable.

Beauty and the Beast is due to hit cinemas 17 March 2017.

Related

beauty and the beast full trailer.jpg

Watch the full Beauty and the Beast trailer here

emma-beauty-beast-poster.jpg

Emma Watson pays homage to original Beauty and the Beast in new poster

emma-watson-feminist-trump.jpg

Emma Watson: “I’m going to fight even harder for what I believe in”

Comments

More

This gin is one of the best in the world – and costs under £10

It keeps topping the polls in industry taste tests, but leaves you change from a tenner

by Amy Swales
27 Jul 2017

30-year-old pilot becomes youngest ever woman to captain a Boeing 777

And she's shared her best career advice

by Sarah Biddlecombe
27 Jul 2017

Research says that half the atoms in our body come from another galaxy

You are a celestial being and should be treated as such

by Jasmine Andersson
27 Jul 2017

Veterans react with outrage to Trump’s transgender military ban

“I risked my life for all, including you”

by Amy Swales
27 Jul 2017

Elderly man spoon-feeds his wife ice cream, internet can't handle it

An act of true, unmitigated love

by Anna Brech
27 Jul 2017

These are the UK's best bars for indulging your love of gin

G&T, anyone...?

by Jenny Tregoning
27 Jul 2017

The 10 songs that DJs have banned from wedding playlists

If you were planning on playing this at your wedding, think again

by Megan Murray
27 Jul 2017

‘Not having sex with your husband is abuse,’ insists Malaysian MP

The MP previously said nine-year-old girls were "physically ready" for marriage

by Jasmine Andersson
27 Jul 2017

The one thing you should never include on your LinkedIn profile

Employers are less likely to hire someone who does this...

by Megan Murray
27 Jul 2017

How to spot if your boss has psychopathic tendencies

“The most obvious, immediate behaviour is that they lie”

by Anna Brech
27 Jul 2017