Disney: The Force Awokens

HUMOR DISCLAIMER: This article is intended as satire and uses the tools of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule in the context of contemporary politics, current trends, recent school events, and other topical issues.

by Liam Trump ’24

It is no secret that Disney is the best company making movies today, but are they really doing enough when it comes to social change?

The simple answer is: Yes. Disney, as everyone knows, has little reliance on China and Russia when in relation to their box office success. Because of this, they are making bold moves to combat the growing issue of homophobia through their movies.

Back in 2017, Disney broke new ground with the release of their seminal reboot of Beauty and the Beast. The film’s bold inclusion of a homosexual man (LeFou) made it clear that Disney wasn’t messing around with representation. As a result, the 2017 Beauty and the Beast currently holds a 5/5 score on Facebook.
Later on in 2019, the sequel trilogy to Star Wars concluded with Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker.

Towards the end of the movie, fans were gifted with a kiss between two female characters. Both of their names went unmentioned in the movie, but that’s what made it special; people could create backstories of their own for these characters and enrich the Star Wars franchise on their own.

Even in 2020, a time which many regard as the worst year in human history, Disney put out Onward. While Onward only received a mere 7/10 by IGN, it made history by presenting the first lesbian couple in an animated movie–ever. Although only half of the couple made it on screen, this gesture showed many people that Disney cared.

Even with all of these examples, some anti-Disney critics claim that Disney is only adding gay characters for people to applaud how progessive they are, whilst actually releasing an altered version without homosexual characters for countries like Russia and China.

That is clearly preposterous; companies are always transparent with their consumers and a stunt like that is simply too far-fetched. Disney’s the only studio out there that has an annual occurrence of introducing their first on-screen gay character. You don’t get more progessive than that.

As for the future of representation in Disney movies, it doesn’t seem like they’re stopping any time soon. Just this year, they released the first ever Asian-lead female superhero movie in 2021’s Black Widow. And it looks like in the upcoming Eternals movie there might even be a gay couple with actual dialogue.