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Kristen Bell Responded to the People Mocking Her Snow White Opinion Who Also Clearly Didn’t Read the Actual Interview

kristen bell disney snow white

Last week, Kristen Bell did an interview with Parents magazine in which she shared some thoughts on what she sees as potentially questionable messages in certain children’s stories. Specifically, she mentioned Snow White and issues of consent in kissing someone while they’re asleep.

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Bell said “you can not kiss someone if they’re sleeping,” which doesn’t seem like that outrageous an opinion, but there was a large subset of the internet that hated those words as much as they love not reading the actual articles they’re commenting on.

The story got picked up by a ton of different outlets, mostly with headlines about her “concerns” over Disney movies. A few days before the interview was published, Keira Knightley talked about similar issues on Ellen, saying that she has “banned” certain movies in her house, “particularly when it involves Disney Princesses who don’t uphold her feminist values.” Maybe people saw those headlines and then Bell’s and conflated the two. Maybe they really do just have an unwavering aversion to reading articles. Because what Bell said was very different from what people were angry about.

To start, she never talked about banning Disney movies. There was no condemnation of Disney princesses (which she herself is, by the way). Here’s what she actually said, via Parents:

“Every time we close Snow White I look at my girls and ask, ‘Don’t you think it’s weird that Snow White didn’t ask the old witch why she needed to eat the apple? Or where she got that apple?’ I say, ‘I would never take food from a stranger, would you?’ And my kids are like, ‘No!’ And I’m like, ‘Okay, I’m doing something right.'”

The apple question is not the only one that Bell—a Disney Princess herself as the voice of Anna in Frozen—has after reading the tale. “Don’t you think that it’s weird that the prince kisses Snow White without her permission?” Bell says she has asked her daughters. “Because you can not kiss someone if they’re sleeping!”

So she uses stories to start conversations with her children, encouraging them to think critically about things like bodily autonomy and stranger danger. Cue the outrage. Also, she’s not even talking about Disney movies, but the Snow White story she reads to her children. (Through, presumably, it’s a modern Disney-esque adaptation and not the Brothers Grimm version, which doesn’t even involve kissing. Meaning Ben Shapiro and everyone ranting about how Bell and other anti-Disney feminists want to “discard centuries-old fairy tales” should brush up on their classics before condemning modern viewpoints.)

Bell chose not to just ignore the negative reactions that came her way, and she responded to a number of them on Twitter. She called out a number of outlets for their super misleading clickbait headlines.

She also responded to some of the people jumping on the clickbait, clearly without reading the actual quotes or the original interview first.

There are a lot of reasons to ask children questions and develop their critical thinking skills, and this whole thread is full of them. It’s depressing how many people not only didn’t read the quotes before attacking Bell, but felt entitled to share their blanket assumptions about her life.

It’s impressive that she took the time to respond to so many people with such a mix of kindness and ferocity. I probably would have just responded to with this GIF:

But Kristen Bell is classier than I am.

(image: VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.