Disney is following in competitor Nickelodeon’s footsteps and planning an LGBTQ virtual concert for children in honor of Pride month. Like Nick Jr.’s “Blues Clues and You” drag queen parade, the event will be hosted by Andrew Levitt, whose stage name is Nina West, as well as perennial kid-favorite Kermit the Frog.
According to Deadline, the June 27 “This Is Me: Pride Celebration Spectacular” will consist of classic Disney songs reworked to celebrate LGBTQ individuals and lifestyles. A variety of past and present Disney stars will perform, including Alex Newell, DCappella, Frankie A. Rodriguez and Joe Serafini, Jackie Cox, Jesse James Keitel, and Michael James Scott.
Disney+’s Twitter announcement provoked stark reaction from some users, with one saying, “This is the last straw for me and my family. Unsubscribed as of right now.” Another responded, “I am unsubscribing from your service for my children ASAP. I don’t know what changes have taken place within your company re: hiring/ personnel- but this is not an appropriate direction for children’s content. Push of sexualization that children are too young/don’t yet comprehend.”
The company’s Pride promotion has also received some pushback from gay critics who have accused the company of hypocrisy, pointing out that it tends to keep its rainbow flag waving on American shores.
“Gravity Falls” creator Alex Hirsch claims Disney executives balked when he outed two major characters as gay in the 2016 season finale over fears of losing money in the Russian and Chinese markets. “Disney privately: Cut the gay scene! We might lose precious pennies from Russia & China. Disney publicly: Honk honk we put rainbow bumper sticker on Lightning McQueen today CONSUME OUR PRODUCTS TEENS,” he tweeted in response to a Disney Pride-themed Twitter post.
Hirsch has a point. While the Mouse House prominently celebrated its “first openly gay character” in an animated movie in Pixar’s “Onward,” it quietly allowed Russia to censor the content.
We Got This Covered reported last year on insider claims that Disney execs are trying to pump the breaks on LGBTQ representation in its films and television shows:
It’s sounding like there may be some internal conflict going on at Disney. Word is that Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige is eager to get more openly LGBTQ characters in the MCU, but those plans are having the brakes put on them by the Mouse House. Sources close to WGTC – the same ones who said that ‘National Treasure 3’ was moving forward and that Marvel was planning a ‘She-Hulk’ show, both of which turned out to be correct – are telling us that Disney are scared that the inclusion of too many LGBTQ characters may mean that Marvel movies will be unable to be screened in the increasingly lucrative Chinese market.
There is some evidence the move could cost them domestically as well internationally. As the Daily Wire previously reported, recent ratings analysis shows Nickelodeon’s hard push on LGBTQ content appears to be resulting in a significant drop off in viewers. The network has lost two-thirds of its audience since 2017.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.