The Internet’s Not Impressed With Disney’s First LGBTQ Animated Character In Onward

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Have you ever noticed how Mount Everest ‘firsts’ get more and more specific each year? You hear the occasional story of the first twins who climbed the mountain together, or the first woman from a specific district of India, or the first Pakistani man to do it without oxygen. And after a while, they feel so damn specific that you wonder what the point is.

Well, that’s how I’m feeling about Disney unveiling Onward‘s Officer Specter, their first LGBTQ character (in an animated movie). How many LGBTQ Disney firsts can there possibly be?

Officer Specter appears to be some kind of gay cop cyclops, who’s being billed as a “major first for Disney.” They promise that the character is “treated almost matter-of-factly in the movie itself” and say that “it’s a modern fantasy world and we want to represent the modern world.”

Honestly, it seems like damn near every Disney release features some kind of LGBTQ first, with the most recent candidate being the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it gay kiss in Star Wars: The Rise of SkywalkerSo, is Disney’s push for representation in their films sincere, or is it just a way to get some free marketing? We’ll leave that one up to you, but here’s just a sample of how the internet is reacting so far:

Onward

Disappointingly, it sounds as if this pessimism will be proved correct. Apparently, Officer Specter will only appear in a single scene in the movie, but Disney promises her role will be “vital to the emotional arc of the story.” The reaction to that is a gloomy prediction that the character is going to die, and her death will be used to give the straight leads of Onward some motivation.

Look, I get the financial reasons why Disney tends to have LGBTQ representation that can be neatly edited out of the movie if a censor board demands it. Still, it’s a bit nauseating to hear them trumpeting their woke credentials over and over while only tossing in the occasional gay background character. Disney, if you really believe this is the right thing to do, then have some courage and put an LGBTQ character front and centre.

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