New York Times says Disney remake of ‘The Little Mermaid’ is lacking ‘kink’
The New York Times made an unexpected splash on social media by posting a tweet that called for more “kink” in the live-action remake of the Disney classic “The Little Mermaid.”
The newspaper tweeted a review of the children’s movie by culture critic Wesley Morris on Friday and included an excerpt that slammed the movie for missing “Joy, fun, mystery, risk, flavor, kink.”
The review also claimed the movie “reeks of obligation and noble intentions.”
The Internet responded with outrage and confusion about The Times using a term with a strong sexual connotation to describe a PG-rated film about a bikini-clad 16-year-old mermaid.
“Ummm…kink? Why does that belong in a children’s movie exactly?” one user commented on Twitter, while another responded, “Oh my – NYT has lost the plot.”
“Kink must have another meaning?” another confused user wondered. “I’m not willing to accept this as reality yet. Can someone please explain a secondary meaning for this word?”
Another commenter jumped in and provided a definition. “Kink: ‘Peculiarity or deviation in sexual behavior or taste.’”
Merriam-Webster dictionary lists six definitions for the word “kink,” most of which refer to various imperfections, peculiarities, or bodily cramps. Though one entry defines a “kink” as an “unconventional sexual taste or behavior,” to be fair to Morris, his intended definition was likely “a clever unusual way of doing something.”
In the review, Morris explains that he believes the film was overly concerned with checking diversity boxes and tiptoed around potentially offensive material. As a result, he argues, the film fell flat on its face, providing the audience with no sense of creativity or fun.
“The movie is saying, ‘We tried!’ Tried not to offend, appall, challenge, imagine,” he wrote, adding the film was too “worried about what we’ll say, about whether they got it right. That allergy to creative risk produces hazards anyway.”
Nevertheless, commenters on Twitter were staunchly bewildered that the Times would use such a sexually-charged word to describe an attribute lacking in “The Little Mermaid.”
“I’m inclined to agree with the quoted opening, and note that none of those things can exist when progressive dogma – woke – is the goal. But did that person write KINK?!?” user Malcom Jayne wrote.
One person replied by claiming the writer likely meant it “in a non sexual way.”
“Probably,” Jayne wrote. “But since this is post 1959 and it had to go through multiple editors, yikes.”
Neither The Times nor Disney responded to requests for comment at the time of publishing.