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

20 soothing, beautiful songs guaranteed to help you fall asleep

An expert picks the ultimate classical music playlist

by Sarah Biddlecombe
20 Oct 2017

Puppy dog eyes are a thing and your dog makes them just for you

A study says dogs change their facial expressions when humans are looking

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2017

Here’s how to buy a house or a flat for the princely sum of £1

It's time to enter the real-estate raffle

by Megan Murray
20 Oct 2017

Oxford University under fire for shocking lack of racial diversity

One MP called the revelations an example of “social apartheid”

by Moya Crockett
20 Oct 2017

This prosecco festival is the best way to start feeling Christmassy

Bubbles, bubbles everywhere

by Susan Devaney
20 Oct 2017

Missing your 16-25 railcard? We have good news for you

Rail bosses have taken pity on cash-strapped millennials

20 Oct 2017

This man’s response to his friend’s period while hiking is everything

“I had NOTHING on me and I was wearing shorts”

by Susan Devaney
20 Oct 2017

Why anxiety makes it harder to follow your intuition

It can have a paralysing effect on decision-making

by Anna Brech
19 Oct 2017

“Why all men must work to stamp out sexual harassment and abuse”

In wake of the Weinstein allegations, one writer argues why men need to be counted

19 Oct 2017

Rage, lust, power and warmth: how it feels to experience ‘red emotions

“I grew up being told my body was terrifying and my voice was unimportant”

by The Stylist web team
19 Oct 2017