Disney-Pixar featuring first LGBT character in ‘Onward’
The upcoming film “Onward,” which will be in theaters on March 6, will feature a self-identified lesbian heroine with a girlfriend, the first-ever animated LGBT character in the Disney-Pixar universe.
The character, named Officer Specter, will be a Cyclops cop, voiced by openly gay screenwriter and actress Lena Waithe, Yahoo Entertainment reported.
“It just kind of happened,” the film’s producer, Kori Rae, was quoted as saying. “The scene, when we wrote it, was kind of fitting and it opens up the world a little bit, and that’s what we wanted.”
Director Dan Scanlon stated, “It’s a modern fantasy world and we want to represent the modern world.”
The film is set in a magical universe with fantastical citizens, who have lost their connection to the magical arts. According to the film's description, "two teenage elf brothers ... embark on an extraordinary quest to discover if there is still a little magic left out there."
While this is Pixar's first LGBT character, this isn't the first time Disney has featured such persons on the smaller screen. Disney Channel series “Andi Mack” depicted the network’s first teenage gay couple last year.
The season three finale of the series concluded with the scene between Cyrus Goodman (played by Joshua Rush) confessing his attraction to his classmate TJ Kippen (Luke Mullen).
While this was Disney’s first depiction of a teen same-sex relationship, the first same-sex adult couple in a Disney show for kids occurred in 2014 on "Good Luck Charlie.”
The multinational mass media and entertainment company has been slowly adopting and promoting LGBT views, as seen on its television shows and movies such as “Beauty and the Beast” and “Doc McStuffins” in 2018. In 2017, “Star vs. the Forces of Evil” introduced the company's first male princess on the same show that previously drew controversy for featuring the first same-sex kisses.
Sony also reportedly plans to feature Spider-Man as a bisexual in an upcoming movie.
The entertainment blog We Got This Covered recently said, citing anonymous but reliable sources, that Sony is developing a live-action Spider-Verse movie that would unite Tom Holland with his predecessors, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, and that the studio is “particularly keen on getting Garfield back, as they want to portray his version of the hero as bisexual and give him a boyfriend in the film.”
In an interview with The Sunday Times last year, Holland, who currently plays Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was asked if a gay Spider-Man could make it into the movies. “Of course,” he responded. “I can’t talk about the future of the character because, honestly, I don’t know, and it’s out of my hands. But I do know a lot about the future of Marvel, and they are going to be representing lots of different people in the next few years.”
Last year, a major gay rights organization, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, started pushing for 20 percent of all television characters to be LGBT by the year 2025.
In a report called “Where We Are on TV,” GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis noted that “less than one-quarter of Americans have a close friend or family member who is transgender,” meaning that many Americans “learn about trans people from what they see in television, movies, and news.”