Disneyland’s Snow White Draws Backlash Over Prince Charming’s “Non-Consensual” Kiss
Disneyland’s revamped Snow White ride is facing backlash for the portrayal of Prince Charming kissing Snow White while she’s asleep.
The theme park in Anaheim, California reopened on Friday after shutting down for more than a year in the pandemic and featured a significant overhaul of the classic Snow White ride with upgrades that include new audio, new animation, new music, and stunning visual technology.
However, critics say the ride undermines lessons on consent by portraying the scene in which Prince Charming kisses a sleeping Snow White to wake her up with “true love’s kiss.”
SFGate reviewers Katie Dowd and Julie Tremaine attacked the ride for including the “kiss he gives to her without her consent, while she’s asleep, which cannot possibly be true love if only one person knows it’s happening.”
“Haven’t we already agreed that consent in early Disney movies is a major issue?” the pair wrote on the site, the digital home of the San Francisco Chronicle.
“That teaching kids that kissing, when it hasn’t been established if both parties are willing to engage, is not OK?
“It’s hard to understand why the Disneyland of 2021 would choose to add a scene with such old fashioned ideas of what a man is allowed to do to a woman,” they wrote, highlighting other changes to questionable themes in rides.
“Why not re-imagine an ending in keeping with the spirit of the movie and Snow White’s place in the Disney canon, but that avoids this problem?” they asked.
It is not the first time the Snow White kiss scene from the 1937 film has drawn concern over the message.
In 2018, Kazue Muta, a professor at Osaka University in Japan, argued the act of kissing a sleeping woman can be likened to sexual assault on an unconscious person.
The feminist academic, 61, went as far as to say that the stories of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty ‘promote sexual violence’.
‘When you think rationally about ‘Snow White’ and ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ that tell of a ‘princess being woken up by the kiss of a prince,’ they are describing sexual assault on an unconscious person,’ she tweeted.