Will Disney Finally Include Gay Characters In Their Children’s Movies?
May 25, 2016
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Will children be exposed to gay and lesbian characters within their Disney movies? Or have they already been?
Fans of the very known Disney movie “Frozen” have inspired a Twitter campaign expressing how they want to see Elsa, the Snow Queen, portray a lesbian character. Gays and lesbians are typically portrayed in movies and TV shows for adults but have not yet been placed on the scene for children’s entertainment.
Many people talk about various characters in children’s movies that come off as ‘gay.’ For example, in the movie “Zootopia” there were two antelopes name Bucky and Pronk that lived together, argued like a married couple, and were both males. Many people have suspicions of them being gay. Later after watching the movie, fans notice in the credits provided that the two antelopes in fact share the same last name, Oryx-Antlerson.
Over the decades children’s entertainment has evolved to reflect changing norms. Such as introducing characters of different races, making women the more dominant warriors instead of the helpless damsel in distress being saved by a strong brave man, etc. Could a warrior fighting princess with a wife, or a young child with two dads, be the next step in the evolution of children’s entertainment? Would this be a good idea? Or would it cause havoc for children’s entertainment?
Former King/Drew senior, Otsanya Deandre, was asked for her opinion about Disney presenting gay movie characters in their children movies. She responded, “I personally don’t think it would be a big deal, gays might be seen as ‘bad’ people but there are characters that portray bad guys and thieves in children’s movies and if that’s the case they shouldn’t be able to be in children’s movies”
In an article written by Jessica Contrera, she wrote upon the speculations of there potentially being gay Disney characters. She mentions that some fans argued on Twitter that it would be have been a huge help for them to see gay characters in movies when they were young because it could have caused them to become more sensitive and accepting towards gays.
The points made by fans could be agreeable because children learn best from they know and how they view things from growing up, watching TV, and movies that are set out to teach them certain lessons about life. “ There is no doubt that kids seeing positively portrayed gay characters could have a significant effect that would contribute to such children’s learning about the world and who is in it,” said Edward Schiappa, professor of media studies and writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Otsanya Deandre was then asked, “Should children would grow up with different and more open minded views about gay people if they were to see it as something normal in the movies they grow up watching?” She responded “ Possibly. Children feed off of their surroundings so if they grow up in an environment that doesn’t judge gays and accepts them for humans then that’s the mentality they will grow up having.”
Carmenita Higginbotham, an associate professor of art at the University of Virginia, mentions how although the act of adding gay characters to films is completely harmless itself. Those who do not support gays and do not support their children being exposed to that part of society would not pay to see the film which will cause the films to deemed less of a success.
“Whatever good intentions individuals may have toward the identities of these dominant characters within the Disney universe, money will always be a factor,” said Carmenita Higginbotham.