Showing posts with label Disney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Disney. Show all posts

February 11, 2019

You Never Hear This at Disney: "and I’m gay” by Cyrus Goodman






(pic by twitter)


Cyrus Goodman is a very important person not just in the show Andi Mack or the Disney Channel universe, but for representation in the entirety of media. The teenage character is Disney's first officially confirmed, openly LGBTQ+ character. On Friday's episode of the coming-of-age series, Cyrus (who is played by actor Joshua Rush) came out to his best straight male friend and former crush, Jonah Beck (Asher Angel). 


Cyrus isn't only gay, he's also Jewish. The monumental scene happened after the character's grandmother had passed, and he invited his friends over for her shiva. As he and his friend Jonah hovered over the table lined with different types of traditional Jewish dishes and treats, he explained, "That, of course, is Aunt Ruthy's kugel. That's your classic bagel and lox. That's gvelta fish, skip that... and I'm gay."


Jonah received the news in the best way an any queer person could hope for — with a warm smile, and an "Okay. Cool!" making the moment feel warm, organic and a win overall.


This moment shook the show's fans to the core. One fan tweeted, "CYRUS GOODMAN JUST MADE DISNEY CHANNEL HISTORY." Actor Joshua Rush retweeted, commenting, "Every day is a blessing working on this show. This milestone is just another stitch in a rich and vibrant tapestry that is Cyrus Goodman."


#CyrusGoodman and #AndiMack became trending topics in the US the day the episode aired, and rightfully so. Read some of the best Twitter reactions, below.

˗ˏˋ bee loves cyrus ˎˊ˗ @tyruskippn ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay thank you joshua rush, cyrus goodman, & disney channel.

February 6, 2019

Disneyland Will Officiate The Gay Day Pride Event in Paris!

disneyland, paris, france
INQUIRER.net Stock Photo
Disneyland Paris is officially opening its gates to a celebration called Magical Pride at the start of Pride Month in June this year. The theme park’s website states that through the event, it seeks to celebrate diversity with a “dazzling party” that includes a parade, a dance party, late-night rides and more surprises on June 1.
Travel packages are available at the website, with a Magical Pride ticket starting at £78.28 (around P5,340).
This is the first time that Disneyland Paris is officially acknowledging the LGBTQ+ pride event after unofficial ones have been held at the theme park since 2014, reported CBS last Feb. 1.
“Gay days” have also been routinely held at Disney theme parks in the United States since 1991 amid criticism from religious and conservative groups.
A Walt Disney Company spokesperson told NBC News, “Diversity and equality are strong values at Disneyland Paris, and each year, we host millions of visitors regardless of their origins, gender or sexual orientation.”
“We are committed to fostering a welcoming environment for all of our Guests where magic is for everyone.”  /ra 

Inquirer 
  @inquirerdotnet on Twitter 

August 27, 2018

Disney's Backlash Over Straight Actor Playing a Gay One Keeps Brewing









Production is currently underway on Disney's Jungle Cruise, the latest of its theme park attractions to be turned into a feature-length movie. Jungle Cruise stars Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, and while plot details for the movie remain slim, a report indicated that the movie would feature an openly gay character to be played by Jack Whitehall. If true, it's a significant move for Disney, but the report has gotten backlash due to Whitehall's character being described as "camp" and "effete," in addition to the role being played by a straight man.
In the original report from The Sun, the publication claimed that Jack Whitehall would be playing an openly gay character, which the unnamed source described as "hugely effete, very camp, and very funny." The news has not been confirmed by Disney, but the report is getting backlash from moviegoers upset with the characters description. Part of the complaint is that the character is described with stereotypical traits for a homosexual. 
Comedian James Barr summed up his thoughts on social media, writing that it's frustrating when straight actors are cast for these parts, while gay actors have a harder time securing roles as heterosexual characters. Additionally, people are upset that a straight actor was cast as a gay character in what would a significant moment in LGBT history. The role would be Disney's first openly gay character in a blockbuster, and some feel that a gay actor should play it.  This situation might give people flashbacks the live action Beauty and the Beastwhen Disney marketed the Le Fou character as its first gay character. While Le Fou was gay, he was not open during the majority of the movie, and it really only became clear in the final seconds of the film, not living up to the expectations that the studio itself had set. This too received backlash from the LGBT community, and it is unclear how Jungle Cruise will be affected going forward. 
It's clear that this is an important issue for many people and we will have to wait until more details about Jungle Cruise are revealed. The movie is currently still filming and stars Dwayne Johnson as a ship captain who takes a sister and brother (Emily Blunt and Jack Whitehall) on a journey through the jungle to find a magical tree with healing powers. Jungle Cruise is scheduled to open in theaters nationwide October 11, 2019.

August 15, 2018

Disney Is Playing A Bait and Switch with the Public by Putting Out a Straight Jack for The Jungle Cruise




  Jack Whitehall and His Girlfriend Gemma



Sometimes it’s hard to know where to position yourself when it comes to equality. When asked, most of us would say we believe in it, encourage it, expect it. But occasionally a conundrum comes along that seems to have been created only to catch us out or test our perception of what it means to be equal.

As a gay man, and thus an automatic member of the LGBTQ community, I see my right to exist be free questioned on an almost hourly basis thanks to the power of the internet, and I have a crick in my neck from reaching up to the breadcrumbs of equality society has deigned to offer from its withered hand. This is why when it was announced Disney was making The Jungle Cruise, a movie which would feature a character who was “openly gay” – a phrase that in itself makes the idea seem like a sideshow at a carnival rather than a long overdue wrong being righted – I was cautious. The 21st century has taught me to react to ostensibly good news slowly, to wait for the punchline. In this case, it came in the form of the casting of Jack Whitehall, a British comedian and actor well known for his campy, posh-boy routine, including his own sitcom Bad Education, in which he played an effete, unlucky-in-love teacher. Whitehall’s own sexuality is, as far as I know, not confirmed, but until recently he was in a relationship with fellow actor Gemma Chan, so unless he is bi, a default view here would be that he’s straight. And this is where problems begin.
The casting of non-cisgender, queer or LGBTQ roles has been a hot topic recently – Scarlett Johansson became a meme thanks to taking on, before pulling out of, the role of a trans man – and Whitehall’s casting has attracted a great deal of debate, some of it enlightening and considered but mostly witless and hysterical. In the hours after the revelation, knee-jerk reactions and delirious takes from both sides seeped into every corner of the internet like red wine on a white rug. Some say it’s fine for a straight man to play a gay character, while others claim it’s unfair on gay actors, and guess what? They are both right, when talking generally. But this is an exceptional case and much of the debate centring around the Project Fear-esque assertion that “soon only gay actors will be able to play gay characters, so does that mean they can’t play straight any more?!” comes from one key misunderstanding – the true meaning of equality.

Whatever the dictionary might tell you, equality is not about treating everyone exactly the same, at all times. True equality comes from amplifying, raising up and offering opportunities to those whose lives have been blighted by inequality. The ones who have been left behind, ignored, forgotten and have suffered prejudice, unfairness and stereotyping. Levelling the playing field would take centuries of renovations and it’s pointless to pretend otherwise, so instead we make sure those who’ve never felt equality are offered the same chances as those who have historically dominated.
Nobody sensible is saying gay actors can’t play straight any more, or that gay characters can never be played by a heterosexual, but what we are saying is every gay role needs extra consideration – yes, every single one. Whether we like it or not, we live in a world where any modicum of LGBTQ representation is scrutinised by everyone on the spectrum. Is the role doing enough? Is the right person playing it? What impact could this have – negative and positive? Straight roles are ten a penny, they are everywhere, the default. Go count the number of LGBTQ characters in your local multiplex or on TV tonight. You won’t run out of fingers, I imagine.
But it’s also important we give Whitehall a fair hearing. “You’re not gay so you can’t play the role” doesn’t cut it at all, I’m afraid. Instead, let me explain. This is the first major “openly gay” role in a Disney movie. Disney movies have a reach and influence we can barely imagine – it is huge, the Princess Diana of celluloid. Your favourite Disney films carbon-date you. They are part of your childhood, and your children’s, and beyond. Imagine the impact this casting could've had on children, and their parents, if it had been an actual gay or bisexual actor doing the promo trail and talking about the role in relation to his own experience. It’s a sad truth there are fewer gay roles, especially in family movies like this, and having gay actors play them can help normalise the gay experience to a guaranteed global audience. It’s important to acknowledge the impact gay characters, and the people who play them, can have. They’re not like other roles; there is more hope and responsibility attached to them, and this one in particular is a landmark.

There have been complaints the gay character in The Jungle Cruise is very camp and very funny. This I don’t see as much of a problem – camp gay men exist, deal with it. But there is an angle here that a straight man acting out stereotypically gay characteristics on screen while actual gay actors get turned down for roles for not being butch enough or being “too gay” – even for gay roles, by the way – is another sign of imbalance.

And that’s why the casting of Whitehall isn’t appropriate on this occasion – not because of him, or his acting skills, or his race, or any of the low-grade insults you want to pick out of the barrage of unnecessary abuse he’s received over the last two days. It’s because it perpetuates the lopsidedness of LGBTQ representation in an overwhelmingly heterosexual world. This isn’t a personal issue with Jack: he’s a self-confessed Disney nut and this role no doubt means the world to him, so who could blame him for taking the challenge? The problem lies with those making the decisions about the character, and his casting; whatever their background or their intent, their approach needs work. They must read the room.
This role, this chance, this potential for glory, all should have been offered to a gay actor. The character and the audience deserve it.

August 8, 2015

{Skeleton Dance} Disney’s Fascination with Death



                                                                            


The story of Walt Disney, for all its wholesome charm, would never earn a G rating. Like many of the brilliant cartoonist’s creations, it is a tale inextricably tied to death and, in Disney’s case, one that starts with a stunning act of animal cruelty — and we don’t mean the slaughter of Bambi’s mother. 
It was a lazy, hot Sunday afternoon, and 7-year-old Walter Elias Disney was bored. Spying a big brown owl in an orchard near his family’s Missouri farm, the boy crept up behind the animal and grabbed it. When the frightened creature started to fight and claw, Disney panicked, throwing it to the ground and stomping the life out of it. It was an act that haunted his dreams for years, and that episode and other close encounters with death would mark Disney’s life and his work — and thus the collective imagination of Disney fans across the globe.
There is a persistent, and unsubstantiated, rumor that Walt Disney’s cryogenically frozen body resides in a vault, waiting to be restored to life when summer returns to Arendelle and modern science triumphs over death. It’s easy to see how the rumor may have been started since, from the beginning of Disney’s career, as chronicled by professor Gary Laderman of Emory University, the American icon had a curious obsession with death. As early as 1929, on the heels of his first big splash with Mickey Mouse as Steamboat Willie, Disney offered a bizarre follow-up entitled The Skeleton Dance, which opens, not surprisingly, with a terrified owl perched in a tree.
Disney’s creative animations take the dance with death to a whole new level.
Even danse macabre doesn’t do justice to the five-minute short in which animated skeletons cavort in a graveyard, using each other as instruments and pogo sticks. Theater managers were aghast. “What’s he trying to do, ruin us?” one asked Walt’s brother Roy. “You go back and tell Walt. More mice, tell him. More mice!” 
But if Disney was in touch with anything as much as his own mortality, it was the sentiments of his audience. The graveyard romp turned out to be a macabre hit, and over the next decades, as America faced economic hardship, war, nuclear annihilation and drastic social change, Disney’s films helped the nation navigate good and evil, vice and virtue. And for most of his early tales, as Laderman observes, “death, or the threat of death, is the motor, the driving force that enlivens each narrative.” 
From the evil queen’s desire to kill a beautiful maiden in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), to the wooden puppet in Pinocchio (1940) who must die to be reborn as a real boy, to the fawn in Bambi (1942) witnessing his mother’s (off-screen) murder, the Grim Reaper looms large over many Disney tales. And while death is a fixture in some of the greatest children’s literature, including Grimm’s Fairy Tales — on which several of Disney’s biggest hits were based — Disney’s animations take the dance with death to a whole new level. In the somewhat disturbing “Night on Bald Mountain” sequence in Fantasia (1940), for example, monstrous demons and bare-breasted female ghouls join skeletons and other nocturnal creatures to plot the invasion of a small mountain village.
Disney’s personal encounters with death continued to multiply during that period. As his daughter Diane would later recount, in the early 1930s, a fortune-teller informed the famous animator that he would die at age 35, prompting a burst of productivity from the paranoid Disney, and leading him to avoid funerals for the rest of his life. Perhaps the most scarring incident, however, was the tragic, accidental death of Disney’s mother, Flora. In 1938, following the success of Snow White, Disney bought his parents a home in North Hollywood. Shortly after moving in, they complained of gas fumes coming from the furnace, and Disney promptly dispatched some studio hands to fix it. The furnace was not fixed properly, and Flora died from asphyxiation a few days later. 
We will never know exactly how such events influenced Disney’s creative output. But as Laderman is quick to remind us, it is not the presence of death that gives so many Disney films their “mythic power in American culture” — it is the happy ending or redemption for which death so often serves as the conduit. Bambi’s perseverance in the wake of losing his mother, Snow White finding happiness with her prince or Pinocchio with his father — these are the moments that drew generations of fans to Disney’s compelling brand of family fantasy.
In the end, it was lung cancer that brought the dancing skeletons to Disney’s door in 1966. But his death, like those depicted in his films, would be transcended by the millions of lives he touched along the way.

SEAN BRASWELL


 OZY 

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