Once again, it seems, the important task of defending Emma Watson from the haters falls to me. Not about her feminist underboob or her pubic hair oil or whatever, because I’m tired of having conversations about women’s bodies. No, today it’s about something far more pressing: cartoon crushes.
While speaking to Yahoo! Reporters on the red carpet for the Beauty and the Beast World Premiere last week, Watson gave voice to a PERFECTLY NORMAL THING THAT NO ONE SHOULD FEEL ASHAMED OF, which is having a crush on a fictional anthropomorphic character in a children’s movie. Listen, we all did this. Don’t tell me you never thought fondly about Roxanne from A Goofy Movie or Danny from Cats Don’t Dance.
In particular, Watson admitted something all of us have always known deep down to be true: The Beast is a much more compelling romantic lead before he’s turned back into a milquetoast white boy (no offense, Dan Stevens) at the end of the movie. “There’s something a bit sad about when he transforms,” she said. “He was quite nice before. He is hot, yeah.”
Already I’m seeing publications run with this as some sort of gossipy scandal about Emma’s sexual proclivities instead of the absolute true statement it is. I mean, look at this tall dark and handsome motherfucker on the left, and look at this long-haired fuckboy on the right. One is the brooding, savage creature you soothe with your love (and say what you want about the problems inherent in that trope, but you can’t deny its power), and the other is a smiling participation trophy. THIS IS NO CONTEST. Transform into a barrel-chested, ukulele-playing dreamboat like the guy at the end of Princess And The Frog and maybe we’ll talk, buddy.
Of course, Emma also admitted to another mammalian crush that’s a little harder to explain: “Aslan in Narnia. I found the lion quite hot. Is that wrong? Is that okay? Probably not. No, it’s not okay. It’s not okay, I’m getting shaking heads.” I mean, I was really into Simba back in the day (he was voiced by Jonathan Taylor Thomas!!! In the nineties!! And then he grew up to be Ferris Bueller!! I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE FOR THIS), but Aslan? Isn’t he a bit stiff and paternal and exceedingly Catholic for a childhood crush? Honestly, it’s easier to confess an attraction to actual depictions of Jesus, because at least by all accounts he was super ripped.
Still, the important thing to remember is that Emma is still a perfectly normal human being and even if she were flat-out admitting to being a Furry in front of God and Yahoo!, she doesn’t deserve to be the butt of your lazy jokes over it, because no one is free of sin in this instance. “It happens! Sometimes animals in films are hot. I don’t know what to say. That’s where we’re at.” Amen, sister.