PRINCETON, NJ — A popular song from “The Little Mermaid” is causing controversy for an a cappella group at Princeton University.
According to The New York Times, the all-male “Princeton Tigertones” have a tradition while singing “Kiss the Girl” from the Disney classic, to call up a woman from the audience for some dancing. The group then also calls a male from the audience.
As the song comes to an end, the group encourages the two audience members to kiss.
In an op-ed for the Daily Princetonian last month, sophomore Noa Wollstein wrote, “Lyrics such as, ‘It’s possible she wants you too/There’s one way to ask her/It don’t take a word, not a single word/Go on and kiss the girl, kiss the girl,’ and ‘she won’t say a word/Until you kiss that girl,’ unambiguously encourage men to make physical advances on women without obtaining their clear consent.”
Wollstein continued, saying, “The fervor with which the all-male Tones press the man to kiss the female subject eerily amplifies the song’s assertions of toxic masculinity.”
Last week, the president of the “Tigertones” announced in a letter published to the Daily Princetonian that the group would remove the song from their set list in response to complaints that it violates consent.
“Because of these concerns, we are removing ‘Kiss the Girl’ from our active repertoire until we can arrive at a way to perform it that is comfortable and enjoyable for every member of our audience,” the letter reads.
The complaints quickly sparked backlash on social media:
Another day to be offended by something else that's totally absurd. Today it's a sophomore at Princeton Univ who is offended & is protesting the song from Disney's movie The Little Mermaid #KissTheGirl – it promotes sexual assault 👌🏼
Oh the triggered lives of millennials! pic.twitter.com/PB2FnkQvyp
— KP (@kates72) December 4, 2018
Hello, Eric needs to kiss Ariel in order to free her from being turned into a sea slug thing and growing out of Ursula's floor for the rest of her life. Ariel cannot explain this because she has no voice. Therefore, Eric *should* kiss the girl. That is all.
— Faith Moore (@FaithKMoore) December 5, 2018
I mean—this stuff is getting waaaaaaay out of control. Can someone please have the flippin' guts to stand up and say NO, we're not caving in to your utterly ridiculous complaint.https://t.co/BxhbCBFyzM
— Mark Reardon (@MarkReardonKMOX) December 4, 2018
First Friends, then Rudolph… now a song from The Little Mermaid… Honestly, what is this world?! pic.twitter.com/5visaF6eQC
— Jason Pellegrini (@JPellegrini1983) December 5, 2018