Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Emma Watson slams claims Beauty and the Beast’s relationship is based on Stockholm Syndrome

beauty and the beast trailer.jpg

Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast – starring Emma Watson as bookworm Belle – is due to hit cinemas next month, and fans are incredibly excited about the ‘feminist’ re-imagining of the 1991 animated film.

However there’s no denying that 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, in a brand-new interview, Watson has hit back at these claims – and explained why her take on the Disney princess is absolutely not a victim of abuse.


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


“It's such a good question and it's something I really grappled with at the beginning; the kind of Stockholm Syndrome question about this story,” she told Entertainment Weekly.

That's where a prisoner will take on the characteristics of and fall in love with the captor.”

Watson added: “Belle actively argues and disagrees with [Beast] constantly.

“She has none of the characteristics of someone with Stockholm Syndrome because she keeps her independence, she keeps that freedom of thought.”


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


Watson argued that Belle holds her own against Beast, “giving him hell” until the pair forge a friendship based on mutual trust and respect.

“She gives as good as she gets,” said Watson, adding that the relationship is the most meaningful of any Disney romance so far.

“He bangs on the door, she bangs back. There's this defiance that ‘You think I'm going to come and eat dinner with you and I'm your prisoner? Absolutely not.’”

The new Beauty and the Beast will reveal more of Belle's background

The new Beauty and the Beast will reveal more of Belle's background

Earlier this year, a teacher issued a lesson plan to students encouraging them to see the original Beauty and the Beast film as promoting domestic violence.

“The Beast does not attack Belle but the threat of physical violence is present,” the lesson plan read, 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.”


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


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”.

Emma Watson's Belle is said to be more "empowered" than the original

Emma Watson's Belle is said to be more "empowered" than the original

Watson finished by saying: “I think that's the other beautiful thing about the love story. They form a friendship first. The love builds out of that, which in many ways I actually think is more meaningful than a lot of love stories, where it was love at first sight.”

Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens stars alongside Watson as Beast in the remake which coincides with the film's 25th anniversary.

Both classic characters have been given makeovers suitable for their modern-day audience; Belle has been given a feminist backstory, as well as her own burgeoning career as an inventor.


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


The enchanted prince, meanwhile, will be very unlike the frightening and grave Beast of the animated version; instead, 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 hits UK cinemas on 17 March 2017.

Images: Beauty and the Beast

 

Related

disney affordable health care america.JPG

Disney princesses and stark realities facing women in Trump’s America

elc-gender-stereotyping.jpg

People are calling on this shop to stop pushing gender stereotypes

emma watson.jpg

Emma Watson almost played another Disney princess instead of Belle

More

The deadly secret hidden within that creepy Game of Thrones hug

Spoilers are coming…

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

Why it’s totally fine if you don’t have a ‘work wife’

Having friends at work is nice – but it’s not the be all and end all

by Moya Crockett
18 Aug 2017

Meteorologist’s epic response to troll who called her “disgusting”

“Enough is enough.”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
18 Aug 2017

Acts of love, humanity and solidarity following the Barcelona attack

In the darkness, there is light.

by Moya Crockett
18 Aug 2017

How you can help those caught up in the Barcelona attack

The ways you can support the victims, survivors and investigation

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

People are furious about Trump’s response to the Barcelona attack

The world is sick of his double-standard on terrorism

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

Ryan Phillipe on how he tackles depression

“I’m thinking about how to focus and steady myself”

by Susan Devaney
17 Aug 2017

Are black girls being forced to grow up too fast?

A study has shown that black girls as young as five are seen as more adult than their white peers

by Kemi Alemoru
17 Aug 2017

Teen receives sickening messages after asking for career advice

This businessman's response was shocking

by Sarah Biddlecombe
17 Aug 2017

We want everything from this new high-street Disney collaboration

Seriously magical

by Megan Murray
17 Aug 2017