An all-male a cappella group at Princeton University has said it will stop singing the song "Kiss the Girl" from the Disney movie, The Little Mermaid, after a student newspaper column charged the lyrics help promote "toxic masculinity." The Tigertones have performed "Kiss the Girl" for years, and during the performances, a female audience member would be brought onstage and asked to kiss a man from the crowd who'd also been brought up. The column's author, Noa Wollstein, not only criticized the song's lyrics, but the audience participation too. The song's lyrics are sung by Sebastian the crab as he encourages Prince Eric to kiss the mermaid Ariel. They include: "My oh my/ Look like the boy too shy/ Ain’t gonna kiss the girl. Ain’t that sad?/ It’s such a shame/ Too bad/ You’re gonna miss the girl," and "Don’t be scared/ You better be prepared/ Go on and kiss the girl." Wollstein charged that the lyrics, quote, "unambiguously encourage men to make physical advances on women without obtaining their clear consent." In her criticism of bringing women onstage and asking them to kiss a stranger, she wrote: "I have seen a queer student brought on stage have to uncomfortably push away her forced male companion. I have heard of unwilling girls being subjected to their first kisses. I have watched mothers, who have come to see their child’s performance, be pulled up to the stage only to have tension generated between them and the kid they came to support." Tigertones' President Wesley Brown said they won't perform the song until they can find a way to do it so it doesn't offend audience members, and apologized to anyone who was made uncomfortable. He also said they'd taken steps to make the audience participation voluntary and consensual, but acknowledged, "Performances . . . have made participants uncomfortable and offended audience members, an outcome which is antithetical to our group’s mission and one that we deeply regret."
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