Disney+ hosted a virtual concert on Sunday for Pride month that featured Kermit the Frog and appeared to be geared toward children.
The 35-minute program, called “This Is Me: Pride Celebration Spectacular,” aired on YouTube and Facebook on Sunday, June 27 at 8 p.m. EST.
The virtual event was hosted by drag queen Nina West, who donned five different elaborate costumes over the duration of the show.
Wearing a pink wig and Cinderella-esque ballgown, West introduces the event by calling it a “meaningful celebration of the LGBT-plus community.”
“Stories about outsiders wanting to express themselves and feel seen resonate so deeply with so many of us in this community,” West says.
West performed the classic Disney song, Beauty and the Beast’s “Be Our Guest,” with an LGBT twist, wearing a dress in the rainbow colors of the LGBT pride flag.
“If you were like me as a kid, maybe you imagined two princes or princesses singing to one another,” West says, introducing the Disney song “A Whole New World” from Disney’s Aladdin.
Frankie A. Rodriguez and Joe Serafini, who are said to be in a relationship, performed the love song “to give this classic a new perspective,” according to West.
“Love is love is love, everyone,” West said.
To close the show, Kermit sang “Rainbow Connection” on a miniature banjo with a rainbow heart and strap.
“You know, after seeing all those performers being so proud of being themselves, I decided that just being myself, being green, is what I want to be,” Kermit says. “Happy Pride.”
Rapper and YouTuber Toddrick Hall, who aspires to be an LGBT role model for young people and people of color, and Hayley Kiyoko, who starred in the Disney Channel movie “Lemonade Mouth,” also put on performances. Kiyoko has said she identifies as a lesbian.
The show featured a slew of other LGBT performers as well, including gender-nonconforming actor Alex Newell, Disney’s a cappella group DCappella, drag queen Jackie Cox, non-binary actor Jesse James Keitel, and gay actor Michael James Scott.
— Disney+ (@disneyplus) June 27, 2021
Ann Marie Pace, who directed Disney+’s short film “Growing Fangs” about a Mexican-American teen who is half-human and half-vampire, directed the streaming service’s Pride event.
The event was meant to raise awareness for GLSEN, a non-profit that says it “works to ensure that LGBTQ students are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment.”
Many large corporations have made a point this June, when Pride month is celebrated, of expressing their support for LGBT issues.
“Brands need to approach Pride not as a marketing moment to sell products and profit from LGBTQ people, but [as] a time to loudly use their reach and influence to affirm our community and support advocacy organizations in authentic and impactful ways,” Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO of GLAAD, which works to “shape the narrative” around LGBT issues, said earlier this month.
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