‘Little Mermaid’ remake will see lyric changes to showcase consent, female empowerment

There was hope that when Bob Iger retook the helm at Disney for a second time after the ouster of former CEO Bob Chapek that the company would get back to the business of wholesome family entertainment, but by all appearances, Disney is as woke as ever.

The latest example of this mindset can be seen in the upcoming live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid,” with Disney composer Alan Menken telling Vanity Fair that two classic songs from the popular film received updated lyrics when asked about changes — updates the New York Post characterized as being designed to “emphasize consent and female empowerment.”

“There are some lyric changes in ‘Kiss the Girl’ because people have gotten very sensitive about the idea that [Prince Eric] would, in any way, force himself on [Ariel],” the 73-year-old composer told Vanity Fair. “We have some revisions in ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’ regarding lines that might make young girls somehow feel that they shouldn’t speak out of turn, even though Ursula is clearly manipulating Ariel to give up her voice.”

It’s not clear what the new lyrics will be and there was no follow-up on who was driving the changes, of course. As for other changes, the live remake will feature black actress Halle Bailey.

The original lyrics in “Kiss the Girl” read: “Yes, you want her / Look at her, you know you do / Possible she want you too, there is one way to ask her / It don’t take a word, not a single word / Go on and kiss the girl.”

The lyrics in “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” sung by the sea witch Ursula, read: “Yes, on land it’s much preferred / For ladies not to say a word / And after all, dear, what is idle prattle for? / Come on, they’re not all that impressed with conversation / True gentlemen avoid it when they can / But they dote and swoon and fawn / On a lady who’s withdrawn / It’s she who holds her tongue who gets a man.”

Disney reportedly dropped $10 million to unveil an ad for the “The Little Mermaid” remake during last month’s Academy Awards ceremony.


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Tom Tillison


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