Image courtesy of brunapazini0 from Pixabay
American culture is certainly transforming. And as the nation changes, so does its entertainment.
Case in point: Disney’s upcoming Pixar film, Onward.
The flick will feature the animation studio’s first character to be openly LGBTQ.
If you’re not familiar, as noted by The Daily Wire, 2016’s Finding Dory featured an “alleged” lesbian couple. But Onward won’t be a source of speculation; actress Lena Waithe will voice an explicitly lesbian police officer.
But shhh — it’s a surprise.
Here’s what Slate had to report about the upcoming mile marker:
There’s a lesbian character in Onward, a police officer voiced by Lena Waithe, but the most revolutionary thing that Pixar has done in advance of the movie’s release is not tell anyone about it. A day before the review embargo on the movie lifted, the closest thing to a relevant search result was a Reddit post from a user with the subject “possible lesbian couple in Pixar’s Onward??” featuring an ambiguous-at-best screenshot from the movie’s trailer…
So how do they do the Big Reveal? It’s a straight-forward bit of dialogue:
[W]e don’t need to speculate about Waithe’s Officer Spector. We know because she tells us. When she and her partner, voiced by Ali Wong, pull over a driver who claims he was distracted because his girlfriend’s sons have been acting up, she commiserates, “My girlfriend’s daughter got me pulling my hair out.”
It’s just the way of the world:
That line isn’t the point of the scene. In fact, it goes by so fast you could barely notice it. But that’s why it works so well. The film doesn’t pause to let it sink in or isolate the moment with a cut for emphasis. It passes unremarked, because in this world, it’s accepted as a fact of life. Some babies have two daddies, and some babies have two mommies, even if those mommies happen to be centaurs or elves.
Disney’s isn’t wholly new to surefire gay characters; last July, I covered the advent of The Disney Channel’s first gay teen couple.
From that article:
For the series finale of its three-season-long Andi Mack, the character Cyrus Goodman drops a bomb: He confides to his classmate, TJ Kippen, that he has a crush on him. The two intertwine their fingers.
Sitting at a table by firelight, at the end of mundane conversation, TJ asks:
“Is there anything else you wanna know?”
He moves his hand toward the boy he likes.
“Is there anything else you wanna tell me?” Cyrus replies.
TJ: Yeah. Is there anything you wanna tell me?
Here’s the scene:
Going forward past Pixar, in November, Disney/Marvel’s The Eternals will offer a twofer: Not only will audiences see an openly gay superhero, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe will serve its first gay kiss.
Actor Haaz Sleiman waxed to Logo on the melting moment:
“I’m married to the gay superhero Phastos, played by Atlanta’s Brian Tyree Henry, and we represent a gay family and have a child.”
About the liplock:
“[I]t’s a beautiful, very moving kiss. Everyone cried on set. For me it’s very important to show how loving and beautiful a queer family can be. Brian Tyree Henry is such a tremendous actor and brought so much beauty into this part, and at one point I saw a child in his eyes, and I think it’s important for the world to be reminded that we in the queer community were all children at one point. We forget that because we’re always depicted as sexual or rebellious. We forget to connect on that human part.”
Well, come March, people won’t be forgetting cops can be lesbians, and lesbians can be cops…as Disney moves Onward.
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