For show biz, as elsewhere, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Hollywood stands to benefit from whatever controversy it can generate. Disney is one company learning this lesson well.
Before Disney released Finding Dory in 2016, it was rumored there would be a small cinematic homage to same-sex relationships. The rumor created buzz around the film. After the film came out, discussion continued over whether or not a two-second shot involving two women and a baby carriage counted as Disney’s first foray into the new world order.
In 2017, more rumors emerged over Disney’s next Star Wars installment. Some believed The Last Jedi would include a homosexual romance. Christians and other social conservatives bemoaned this possibility but, in the end, all for nothing. Disney created a conversation, but didn’t deliver on this one.
When Frozen hit screens back in 2013, some wondered whether the main character Elsa was an in-the-closet lesbian. The discussion certainly didn’t hurt the movie’s bottom line – it grossed more than any other animated film in history, well over $1 billion US. Disney is planning the release of a sequel in 2019 and already there’s speculation over whether Elsa will come out of the closet and have an openly homosexual relationship. There are online campaigns for and against but, as usual, Disney is playing its cards close to the chest.
See the pattern? It should make Christians cynical and distrusting of Disney and other Hollywood giants. They manipulate our concerns to create more hype – and make more money. Even if Frozen 2 doesn’t have a lesbian Elsa, they made you (and me!) talk about it. They got us aware and interested and that’s going to translate into dollars at the box office. The bottom line is the bottom line. Disney is not a business dedicated to upholding biblical marriage and family values – they’re pragmatic movie barons out for your money. Could it be time to vote not only with our feet, but also with our mouths and keyboards, and leave Frozen and Disney out in the cold?
Dr. Wes Bredenhof is the pastor of Free Reformed Church, Launceston, Tasmania, and blogs at Yinkahdinay.