Disney XD has this week aired its first gay kissing scene in an episode of children’s cartoon “Star vs. the Forces of Evil.”
In the “Just Friends” episode of Star vs the Forces of Evil’s second season series, a gay couple can be seen sharing a kiss for this first time in the history of Disney.
Main character and protagonist Star and her friend Marco, both 14, attend a concert of a boy band where they were surrounded by kissing couples, including two men, and later in the episode, two women.
The boy band start singing to the crowd, and it appears everyone’s so overwhelmed by the song that people in the audience start kissing.
Featured next is what appears to be two males making out. The smooch was subtly slipped into the concert scene and without any comment, two men are briefly seen locking lips before the attention shifts to other pairs in the arena.
Then another shot shows what looks like two women. Interestingly, the couples aren’t diverse only in terms of sexuality but also in terms of race, age, and body type. In recent years, diversity seems to have become a priority for the Disney brand.
Since the episode was aired, it has created controversies on social media. While some viewers (obviously LGBT) have admitted that they were slightly disappointed by the very subtle representation of LGBT+ relationships, others have condemned it.
The news comes as Disney blockbuster Beauty and Beast is reported to have produced the studio’s ‘exclusively gay scene’.
In the film, starring Emma Watson, manservant LeFou will explore his sexuality after developing feelings for macho leading man Gaston. In an interview, Beauty and Beast director Bill Condon said:
“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston.
“He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realising that he has these feelings. It is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”
Mr Condon said the character, played by Josh Gad, is part of a ‘watershed moment’ for Disney. He said: ‘The studio is sending out a message that this is normal and natural – and this is a message that will be heard in every country of the world, even countries where it’s still socially unacceptable or even illegal to be gay.’
Directors of Disney Pixar movie Moana have also hinted that the company are opening up to the possibility of their very first LGBT+ Disney princess.
In 2014 the live-action Disney Channel show Good Luck Charlie proudly featured a lesbian couple, whose storyline was the episode’s main arc.
In more subtle endorsements of equality, the Disney Channel show Gravity Falls featured two male cops who were a couple. While Disney wasn’t as overt with similar depictions in Frozen, Zootopia, and Finding Dory, that didn’t stop online conversations about potential same-sex relationships from surfacing.
Disney films were reportedly much more inclusive in 2016. These include recent movies like Moana and Queen of Katwe, as well as upcoming movies like The Nutcracker, which will star Misty Copeland and Morgan Freeman, and a hip-hop upgrade of Oliver Twist, with Ice Cube’s name attached.