There’s been a hashtag floating around the internet called #giveelsaagirlfriend, in which supporters think the ice-slinging Elsa from Frozen should be Disney’s first homosexual main character. Even the voice actress, Idina Menzel, thinks it’s a good idea (source).
Incidentally, this has also sparked the hashtag #giveelsaagirlfriend jack, which says Elsa would be better off with Jack Frost from Dreamworks’s Rise of the Guardians.
You may now fight over which is better.
Should it happen?
I’m not going to debate whether homosexuality is right or wrong, but I have been wondering whether or not it will actually happen. First, let’s look at it from an artistic standpoint: SHOULD Elsa have a girlfriend?
Some say evidence already exists in the movie Frozen, in that she has no boy toy hanging around and no suitors come calling for Elsa.
Honestly, that’s pretty thin. Just because no men are around doesn’t mean Elsa doesn’t like them. And as for there being no suitors, Elsa wouldn’t even see her own sister, remember? (Do you wanna build a snowmaaaan?) She was scared of her powers, so marriage was probably not on her list of things to do–ever.
Still, there’s no hard evidence that she’s hetero, either, so it could happen. My worry, however, is that it will happen for the sake of happening. I know a lot of LGBT people want this, but if that’s the only reason, it’s not enough.
Movies are still art. Characters have to be crafted with care and intent. Disney is great at this, but they’re also great at selling out. Bowing to the masses is merely selling out, and I doubt the LGBT crowd wants Disney to make a lesbian character just to make money off of them.
If it’s a good character choice, that’s one thing. If it’s to satisfy Twitter, that’s lame.
But what are the odds?
Let’s get one thing clear: Disney loves money. They make great movies (usually), but they love money. They’re making Cars 3 for pity sake. And remember all those horrible straight-to-DVD sequels of the early 2000s? And have you ever checked prices at a Disney store? They are a business and businesses want to make money.
So would writing Elsa as a lesbian make them more money or less?
You may say, “But Mike, think of all the LGBT people who will flock to see a sequel and buy Frozen products if they make her gay!” To which I would say, “They’ll spend that money no matter what.”
This is Frozen. The most popular Disney franchise of all time. Disney has peaked with this one. LGBT people may be disappointed if they don’t make Elsa a lesbian, but this is a wish, not a promise Disney made. Read that Idina Menzel article again. Even she essentially said she’s fine either way. The LGBT people will spend their money on Frozen anyway because it’s a great movie and Elsa is a strong character either way.
Some may boycott it, but I doubt it would be a large percentage. It would be more of a bummer than an outrage.
Now if they DO make her gay…oooooh, the backlash.
Despite the recent trends, homosexuality is still a touchy subject among conservatives and Christians. They are far more likely to boycott than anyone else, and trust me, they would boycott this movie.
Not only does the right wing of our beloved bald eagle run away from all things LGBT, but they also have their children to think about. They don’t want their impressionable babies to experience anything they themselves don’t agree with, and Frozen is primarily targeted at kids. If they introduced homosexuality, conservative moms and dads would ban it faster than a genderbent Harry Potter (ten bucks says that’s already a thing).
And that’s not all. This is the age of brand boycotting. If Disney decides it’s okay to put gay characters in their movies, conservatives may be hesitant to ever support Disney again. Just look at how people reacted to a lesbian couple that WASN’T the focus of Finding Dory!
The verdict? …Unlikely.
Disney can either disappoint the LGBT crowd or royally piss off the conservatives. Considering their track record for tossing art out the window to make a buck, I doubt they’d put the LGBT crowd’s opinions higher than their bottom line (or lower, or however that metaphor works).
Now if this was a new, untried movie where they had a blank slate and nothing to lose, the odds would be higher. LGBT people would flock to it even if it turned out not to be very good and brand boycotting is less likely than boycotting an individual movie.
Of course, I could be wrong. This is only my speculation, and it’s mostly based on my analysis of Disney as a company. Anything could happen.
But who cares what I think? Do you think it’s likely Elsa will ever have a ladyfriend? Or do you prefer her to shack up with Jack Frost?