A politics professor at taxpayer-funded Florida International University is complaining that strains of “toxic masculine capitalism” run rampant in the Disney film “Beauty and the Beast.”
The professor is Bryant W. Sculos. His treatise, titled “We are the Beast: On Toxic Masculinity and Social Responsibility in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” appears in the current issue of an academic journal called “Class, Race and Corporate Power.”
In treacly prose that is simultaneously angry and replete with Hallmark-card Marxism, Sculos proposes that the Beast and Gaston — the two main male characters in “Beauty and Beast” — represent “toxic masculinity.”
Both the classic animated movie (released in 1991) and a live-action remake released in 2017 represent “toxic masculinity,” he claims.
The animated version from 1991 “taught young boys that sometimes the sensitive, intellectual guy could ‘win’ the heart of the beautiful woman (and that a woman who could and loved to read was worth desiring),” Sculos argues.
Both films feature “toxic masculinity,” he declares. The 2017 live-action version digs a bit deeper into the reasons why several servants at the Beast’s castle are suffering under a curse placed on the Beast.
These servant characters — a candelabra, a teapot, a pendulum clock and some others — were “responsible for the violent, close-minded toxic masculinity that nearly destroyed their small community,” Sculos explains.
Sculos is also really sad and angry because the residents of the poor provincial town where viewers first meet Belle, the main character, celebrate Gaston, the arrogant villain in “Beauty and the Beast.”