The Kiss That Does Not Exist

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The Kiss That Does Not Exist is a Beauty and the Beast controversy regarding photos, kissing, videos, and ultimately, the splintering of a mailing list.

C.A.B.B. Connections was one of a handful of Beauty and the Beast mailing lists set up on Yahoo groups. CABB stood for Classic Alliance of Beauty & the Beast. It changed its name to "Kaylas Caverns" in June 2002 in response to a fandom dispute regarding a list member's actions offlist.

A similar debate is the Starsky & Hutch discussion in the 1980s: The Kiss in the Alley Debate.

What Happened

A fan took a photo of footage of the two main characters from Beauty and the Beast kissing. The video was shown at the 2000 Beauty and the Beast convention on a restricted basis. And although the circumstances and ownership of the video was never discussed or clarified, many fans believed that the footage had been leaked to them by someone with access to the show's production. The video is known throughout the fandom as "The Kiss" or "The Kiss That Does Not Exist" and it is popular among BatB fandom because on the aired version of the show, Vincent and Catherine never kissed.

The video is often used to raise money for charity. After learning that a still of the video had been taken (though never shared), members of CABB approached the C.A.B.B. Connections mailing list moderator. Depending on the version of events, they either (a) demanded that the mailing list moderator ban the photographer from the mailing list or (b) remove the fan as a co-moderator from the mailing list. If she did not, they demanded that name "CABB" be removed.

The moderator felt that she did not have the authority (or right) to remove a mailing list member for conduct that took place offlist. She did agree to rename the mailing list, a relatively simple procedure on Yahoo groups. She also restricted moderator access to the new mailing list (although it was never clear who, if anyone was removed as moderator).

At this point the stories diverge further: some CABB members felt that the moderator should not have renamed the mailing list without CABB's permission and that the CABB fan group owned the mailing list. They treated Kayla's Caverns as a "new" mailing list with a stolen subscription list. The moderator felt that nothing had changed - she was still the moderator, the members list was still the same. All that had changed was the name which she had removed at their request. Tempers flared and the list moderator was falsely accused of having taken the photo (she did not, she was not at the convention). A few members demanded that the list moderator be banned from BBTV (another mailing list) - she was not. In the end, Kayla's Caverns continued to exist and CABB founded their own mailing list (Tunnels Tales, Etc.) which folded a few years later.

As of 2013, BBTV remains the main active mailing list for the fan community.

"The Kiss That Does Not Exist" has continued to be shown at fan conventions. [1]

References

  1. Sources: MD's November 2013 conversations with BatB fans with personal knowledge, names withheld by request.