On the journey home from 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney it seems Dory may have run into some controversy. The film for the sequel to Finding Nemo – Finding Dory – has stirred up the family values conversation after scenes that appear to feature a lesbian couple as characters. The scene itself shows two women with a pram, both then interacting with the child in the pram.
It’s hardly a public display of equal love, but the internet is up in arms none the less.
Delving to the depths of the internet some people are truly offended by the rumoured couple, announcing a total boycott of the film and Disney entirely. Homophobes everywhere are freaking out.
The public Twitter and Facebook rants included:
“Just one of the reasons I don’t like Disney. Such perversion, witchcraft, magic, and so many perverted subliminal messages in majority of all of it’s kids movies. Now this!!! I’m not surprised though. My kids won’t be seeing Finding Dory.”
“We are all entitled to our opinions. With that said, if this indeed is the case my family will not be seeing this movie AND this will be the first Disney movie I will NOT be buying.”
“Parents beware. Disney is not your friend. They have been subtly indoctrinating your children for years now they are simply becoming more blatant.”
These same people of restrictive beliefs have complained of the film sexualising children, as if the mere concept of same sex relationships cannot be anything outside a whimsical porn video. Disney’s sorcery for practising acceptance has ignited a divide, the religiously confined or those understanding of equality.
This hinted relationship has caused strife across the board, with some homosexuals complaining of a lack of gay couples in animated films. Instead pointing out that the few roles where same sex couples are depicted in children’s films focus on female parents. This assumption that children connect and understand maternal roles to a greater extent than paternal roles has caused offense also.
The short hair of the female character supposedly in a lesbian relationship is not a marker of homosexuality. They could be friends, sisters, colleagues or lesbian partners.
As one gay father noted, “Elsa is going to have a girlfriend in the next Frozen movie, Once Upon a Time had two girls kids, there’s apparently a lesbian couple in the soon to be released Finding Dory – where’s the gay couples at?”
Two hashtag campaigns attempting to sway the upcoming sequels of Frozen and Captain America have taken hold, pushing for same sex partners for each of the heroes. #FindElsaaGirlfriend and #FindCaptainAmericaaBoyfriend have swept Twitter in a storm of equal rights, calling for the depiction of a variety of relationships as is true in real life.
Disney provides a reflection for children to see a little piece of themselves, the strength of Hercules, the tenacity of Belle, the courage of Simba; whether they look alike or not. Without a diverse range of reflections projected on the big screen, children are at risk of feeling out of place, wrong or undesirable. Why should children of two mothers or two fathers be dealt this injustice?
Even with all of this taken into account, two women next to each other does not a lesbian couple make. With Ellen Degeneres at the helm of the film, voicing Dory, people are reading into an innocent display. The proud lesbian and wife to Portia de Rossi, has inadvertently framed the film for bigots to find an issue. The short hair of the female character supposedly in a lesbian relationship is not a marker of homosexuality, but these wider stereotypes do serve as cues that inform our understanding. Or in this case misunderstanding.
They could be friends, sisters, colleagues or lesbian partners; but the desperation for the LGBTQIA community to recognise themselves (and the somewhat more desperate anti-LGBTQIA brigade who want to shun them) on screen has excitedly pushed this moment into controversy.
Whatever their relationship entails the conversation has scared the Trump supporters out of hiding and and crucially further engendered progress across other films.