Disney’s LGBTQ+ Inclusion: A Closer Look
Disney has long been known for its family-friendly entertainment, but in recent years, the company has also made strides towards LGBTQ+ inclusion onscreen. However, some critics argue that these efforts fall short, with LGBTQ+ characters appearing briefly or receiving minimal attention. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Disney’s LGBTQ+ inclusion and explore whether the company is truly living up to its promises.
The History of LGBTQ+ Representation in Disney Films
Disney’s history of LGBTQ+ representation is a mixed bag. On one hand, the company has been criticized for perpetuating harmful stereotypes in films like “The Lion King” and “Aladdin,” which feature flamboyant and effeminate villains. On the other hand, Disney has also produced groundbreaking films like “Beauty and the Beast,” which featured a gay character named LeFou.
In recent years, Disney has made a concerted effort to include more LGBTQ+ characters in its films and TV shows. In 2017, “Beauty and the Beast” director Bill Condon revealed that LeFou would be explicitly gay in the live-action remake of the film. The same year, “Star vs. The Forces of Evil” featured a same-sex kiss between two female characters, making it the first Disney show to do so.
More recently, Disney has continued to push the envelope with its LGBTQ+ representation. The 2020 Pixar film “Onward” featured a cyclops cop who briefly mentions her girlfriend, while the Disney Channel show “The Owl House” features a bisexual protagonist named Luz.
Criticism of Disney’s LGBTQ+ Inclusion
Despite these efforts, some critics argue that Disney’s LGBTQ+ inclusion is still lacking. Many point to the fact that these characters often receive minimal screen time or are only mentioned in passing. For example, the cyclops cop in “Onward” appears for only a few seconds and is never seen again.
Others argue that Disney’s LGBTQ+ representation is too subtle, with characters only hinting at their sexuality rather than explicitly stating it. This can be seen in “Beauty and the Beast,” where LeFou’s sexuality is only hinted at through subtle gestures and glances.
Some critics also argue that Disney’s LGBTQ+ representation is limited to side characters rather than main protagonists. While “The Owl House” features a bisexual protagonist, Luz’s sexuality is not the focus of the show and is only briefly mentioned in one episode.
Is Disney Doing Enough?
So, is Disney doing enough when it comes to LGBTQ+ inclusion? The answer is complicated. On one hand, the company should be commended for its efforts to include more LGBTQ+ characters in its films and TV shows. These characters help to normalize LGBTQ+ identities and provide representation for LGBTQ+ youth.
However, it’s also clear that there is still room for improvement. Disney should strive to give LGBTQ+ characters more screen time and develop their storylines beyond just a passing mention. Additionally, the company should consider featuring LGBTQ+ characters as main protagonists rather than just side characters.
It’s also worth noting that Disney’s LGBTQ+ representation has been met with backlash from some conservative groups. When “Beauty and the Beast” was released, some theaters refused to show the film due to LeFou’s sexuality. Similarly, “The Owl House” has faced criticism from conservative groups who claim that the show is promoting a “gay agenda.”
Despite this backlash, it’s important for Disney to continue pushing for LGBTQ+ inclusion. By doing so, the company can help to create a more inclusive and accepting world for all.
Disney’s LGBTQ+ inclusion has come a long way in recent years, but there is still work to be done. While the company should be commended for its efforts to include more LGBTQ+ characters in its films and TV shows, these characters often receive minimal screen time or are only mentioned in passing. Additionally, Disney should consider featuring LGBTQ+ characters as main protagonists rather than just side characters.
Despite the backlash from some conservative groups, it’s important for Disney to continue pushing for LGBTQ+ inclusion. By doing so, the company can help to create a more inclusive and accepting world for all.