The LGBTQ community is looking for Hollywood to finally start diversifying
It started, as things often do these days, with a tweet.
I hope Disney makes Elsa a lesbian princess imagine how iconic that would be— Alexis Isabel (@lexi4prez) May 1, 2016
From the back of these tweets, there was a massive landswell of support behind #GiveElsaAGirlfriend, which began trending worldwide and was picked up by just about every major news outlet.
It continued then as GLAAD released their annual report on the Studio Responsibility, which tracks the inclusion of LGBT characters in the biggest releases by the major Hollywood studios each year. The entire report can be found here, but one of the details discovered is that Disney was one of two major studios that featured zero LGBTQ characters in any of their eleven major releases in 2015, with Paramount also featuring none in their twelve major releases.
With Disney overseeing both their own animated wing as well as Pixar's, coupled with the Star Wars universe, the Marvel universe, and many more major film franchises besides, the film-makers behind them have recently come under a lot of questioning about the lack of proper inclusion. The recently released Captain America: Civil War is filled with powerful men and women of different races, but not one LGBTQ character is alluded to. Collider asked director's Joe and Anthony Russo about this, to which they responded:
"I think this is a philosophy of Marvel, in success it becomes easier to take risks. There’s a lot of unconventional ideas in Civil War in terms of what people’s expectations of a superhero movie are, but I think we were able to do that because Winter Soldier worked and Marvel’s been working in general, so there’s more of a boldness in terms of what you can try and where you can go. So I think that’s very hopeful for all of us moving forward that bolder and bolder choices can be made. [...] The answer is, there is no reason why that can’t happen any time soon. You know, we pull the characters from the comics, for the most part, and they’ve been forging new ground for decades in the comics. They’ve been very progressive in the comics. And even more recently in a very important and progressive way. And we keep track of all of those things and are inspired by all of those things, so I’d love it to find an organic, meaningful and natural way for that to happen at some point in the not so distant future."
Once Frozen 2 was officially announced, co-director Chris Buck gave a vague idea of what the sequel would entail:
"We have two very strong female leads in Frozen. We will keep that going in the next one. We will tackle other issues that, I think, are out there today that boys and girls, men and women, are dealing with. [...] I think we’re very aware of what is happening in society. I don’t think any of us take [them] lightly, even though they can be very funny and entertaining, the messages that our movies have and the influence they can have on young people. When the kids [watch] them, they watch them over and over again, and if we don’t have a decent message in there, I think we’ve missed an opportunity."
That could be read into in a multitude of ways, but it is easy to potentially see that Buck is talking about Elsa's potential alternative sexuality.
While the negative aspects of GLAAD's report shouldn't be aimed solely at Disney - the best scoring studio was Lionsgate, with 20% of their top movies featuring an LGBT character - the Mouse House is in a uniquely powerful position, having an almost unparalleled influence on younger audience members, thanks to the demographic that their movies are almost solely aimed at.
Should Disney include an LGBT prince or princess in a future movie? Yes, absolutely. Should Elsa be that first entry into the LGBT pantheon? Maybe, maybe not. If that truly was Disney's plan all along, then it should without question be followed through on, as it has been long overdue and a long time coming.
However, if Elsa was never intended to be an LGBTQ-character, then Disney shouldn't change that course for her, as that would cheapen the win for those who have been fighting for their first alternative sexuality character. Elsa shouldn't be gay or bi because we want her to be, as even fictional characters (or the people who create them) should have the right to choose who they love.