Get with the times and be gay, Salon.com urged Disney on Saturday. The liberal site ran Renee Davidson’s piece “Why are there no gay Disney characters?” which ominously warned that if Disney doesn’t start pushing LGBT imagery, then Mickey Mouse and his pals run the risk of going out of date.
“The animation giant has never featured an openly gay character in any of its multimillion dollar films or cartoons,” Davidson lamented, “let alone present a (genuine) same-sex kiss.” Citing Archie Comic’s recent money-making decision to portray it’s first “gay kiss,” Davidson was eager to see the House of Mouse follow suit and start writing “openly gay characters.” Otherwise, Davidson suggested, Disney might become what Archie Comic’s CEO Jon Goldwater calls “an anachronism.”
Besides, gay characters would rake in bucketloads of moolah for Mickey Mouse, insisted Davidson. “If money is what Disney is after,” she asserted, “the profits of Archie Comics’ foray into queer representations should have its execs seeing dollar signs.”
Davidson decried Disney’s focus on the “magic” of a heterosexual kiss and drudged up Disney moments which she claimed mock or deride homosexuality and cross-dressing. She was none too happy with the jokes at effeminate Ken Doll’s expense in Toy Story 3, for instance. “His effeminate appearance, demeanor, and mannerisms are persistently mocked by the other toys,” she complained, “thereby sending the message that men who violate gender norms are worthy of ridicule.”
The fact that Disney’s target audience is children doesn’t make a difference to Davidson. Disney stories are “steeped in sexuality – heterosexuality,” she exclaimed. So why shouldn’t they throw some gay love scenes in there as well?
Never mind that Disney’s theme parks have already hopped on the gay bandwagon by hosting massive gay celebrations called “Gay Days.” And apparently it doesn’t matter that Disney Channel president Gary Marsh admitted their shows include possibly-gay characters “for the audience to interpret.” That’s not quite enough for Davidson; she claims Marsh is just “shaking off any role or responsibility in providing gay visibility.”
Her attack on Disney’s heterosexuality wasn’t a surprise to find on Salon, of course, which is just keeping up it’s reputation for celebrating all things that push the gay agenda in gender portrayals.
But then again, Disney has shown signs in the past of caving to whatever political agenda hits the mainstream, and gender-bending cartoons are already starting to surface elsewhere. If the pressure keeps mounting, perhaps a Princess Boy will be next in the line-up of Disney’s leading ladies.