New York Times is slammed for ‘The Little Mermaid’ review which bemoaned a lack of KINK

The New York Times has come under fire after their movie critic said moaned that The Little Mermaid did not have enough ‘kink’ in it. 

Writer Wesley Morris caused controversy with his review, saying that the PG-rated film, aimed at young girls and boys, did not have enough mystery, risk, or kink for his liking.

It’s already raked in $117 million at the US box office on opening weekend.  

The NYT review begins: ‘The new, live-action ‘The Little Mermaid’ is everything nobody should want in a movie: dutiful and defensive, yet desperate for approval. It reeks of obligation and noble intentions. 

‘Joy, fun, mystery, risk, flavor, kink — they’re missing.’

While the word kink does also refer to a ‘sharp twist or curve,’ it is more commonly known as shorthand for a person’s unusual sexual preference. 

The Little Mermaid has already raked in $117 million at the US box office on opening weekend. The casting of Halle, who is African American, as the lead resulted in some racist backlash against the film

The NYT review said that 'kink' was missing from the film

The NYT review said that ‘kink’ was missing from the film

Among those who found issue with the NYT’s review was political commentator Ian Miles Cheong, who said: ‘The New York Times wants ‘kink’ in a movie made for children, and they’re sad that The Little Mermaid doesn’t have any of it.’ 

Another person said: ‘The New York Times’ wrote a movie review of the children’s film ‘The Little Mermaid’ and lamented it lacked kink. I think we have a pedophilia problem, not a sexual identity crisis in children.’

One outraged reader said: ‘The kink was missing, huh? Unbelievable.’ 

Another wrote online: ‘Kink? Kink is missing from The Little Mermaid? WTF?’  

A fifth said: ‘Not enough KINK?! In The Little Mermaid? What do you want them to do, have Eric licking Ariel’s tail?? What does that even mean?’ 

This follows news that the Little Mermaid reboot achieved the highest fan-rating of any live-action Disney movie on review site Rotten Tomatoes.

The musical, which was released on Friday, currently boasts 95 per cent approval out of more than 5,000 ratings by cinema-goers.

NYT writer Wesley Morris penned the controversial review

NYT writer Wesley Morris penned the controversial review

The film is expected to gross millions during Memorial Day Weekend

The film is expected to gross millions during Memorial Day Weekend

It eclipses the previous record of Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin, which has a 94 per cent audience rating.

Despite a backlash over Halle’s casting, the movie topped the box office at the number one spot over Memorial Day weekend in the United States with a whopping debut of $117 million.

That would make it the fifth highest Memorial Day opening in history, according to Variety.

Last year, Top Gun: Maverick became the number one highest grossing film to debut over the Memorial Day weekend at $160.5 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Despite winning over the audience, the film has scored mixed reviews from critics, and currently sits at a 67 per cent approval rating.

While some experts claimed it was close to being ‘the best live action Disney movie’ and praised Halle’s performance as Ariel, others insisted it ‘can’t’ escape its animated legacy, which has a an overall rating of 92 per cent, with an 88 per cent fan rating.

One rough review by Bloomberg branded the film ‘waterlogged conundrum’ and described the new rap song The Scuttlebutt, a track sang by Awkwafina’s Scuttle and Daveed Diggs’ Sebastian, as particularly cringe-worthy.

‘Scuttle is voiced by Awkwafina, who’s never not funny—except here. In the screening I attended, many grown adults covered their faces to avoid looking at the screen. Both songs feel like first drafts,’ Bloomberg noted.

Halle Bailey attends the World Premiere of Disney's 'The Little Mermaid' on May 8, 2023

Halle Bailey attends the World Premiere of Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ on May 8, 2023

One of the most iconic scenes from the original film, Under The Sea, also perplexed the critic.

‘The original is adorable and joyous, and features sea creatures with cherubic, smiling faces. But in the 2023 version, they are faceless, and thus (sorry, fish) they’re simply not as fun to watch,’ Bloomberg wrote.

‘Both the old and new numbers end with the camera rapidly cutting between all the sea creatures that are ‘dancing.’

In the animated version, this moment is a triumph. In the modern iteration—as the camera jumps between a manta ray’s belly and a snail’s arm and a starfish’s … hole, I guess—you just wonder ‘What the hell am I looking at?”

NPR, meanwhile, headlined their review, ‘The Little Mermaid is the latest of Disney’s poor unfortunate remakes’, in a reference to Ursula’s song Poor Unfortunate Souls.

They also described Under The Sea as ‘dead in the water’ and branded the Scuttlebutt rap ‘ridiculous.’ Like Bloomberg, there was also criticism of how underwater life was portrayed: ‘The underwater scenes have a flattened sheen reminiscent of video games circa the early 2000s.’

Halle has also revealed how she broke down watching videos of children gleefully reacting to her playing Ariel in The Little Mermaid live action film.