Wednesday, June 23, 2021

TV: Pride?

June is winding down and, you may have missed it, in the US, this is LGBTQ Pride Month.  You might not know it, for example, if you frequent DISNEY+ where gay pride translates as one bad documentary about a gay man (Howard Ashman) -- a documentary that is dull and plodding (there's a good reason that even though it's about the industry, the Academy Awards elected not to nominate the film in any category).




And that may be one of the kinder things one can say about how DISNEY+ honors pride.  

This is the outlet, please remember, that already pimps the notion that you should be proud to be gay but does that in a series (LOVE, VICTOR) starring a straight man playing a gay man.  In other words, "Be proud but also be invisible."

If you're not getting the problem, DISNEY+ has no feature films to offer.  So they instead offer a lot of shorts.  That would include THE LITTLE PRINCE(SS).  It's a good short film.  It's just not about being gay. The seven-year-old is a feminine boy.  That doesn't mean he's gay or will realize he's gay as he grows older.  Sorry, DISNEY, but some of the 'queeniest' men can -- and have been -- straight.  Or you get BIG SHOT and its ilk where a large cast has a token gay character that never really does anything of value or leads a story.  Sort of like the 20 episodes of INSIDE PIXAR which gives a token nod to non-straights.   

Provided Pride Month doesn't require actual LGBTQs to be included or to step to the foreground, you can enjoy twelve offerings from DISNEY+ as you "Celebrate Pride Month."

It's disgusting.

And, again, the bulk of this is a token, a nod to inclusion -- just a nod.

Go over to another streamer and find so much more.  Take NETFLIX.  Go over there and find 26 -- "Gay TV Dramas."  That's not counting films or TV shows that aren't dramas.  Or stand up specials.  

Go to NETFLIX's "Celebrate Pride Month" folder and find over 100 different offerings.  

Go to HBO MAX and open "Pride 2021" and find over 100 different offerings as well.

But DISNEY+ can only offer 12 -- and that's including shorts.  And that's including a cartoon that's not even about LGBTQ -- not one character in PRINCE(SS) is a member of the LGBTQ community.

Even the laughable PEACOCK offers 25 -- over twice as many offerings as DISNEY+.

Even sadder for DISNEY+?  The free streamer TUBI has 200 offerings in their LGBTQIA+ Pride catalogue.

It's as though DISNEY+ is still stuck in the 90s -- when they went around slapping a MATURE label warning on ELLEN because the lead character was gay.  A lot of things strike us as stuck in the nineties.  Move over to THE CW and you'll find CHARMED -- the reboot.   It's hard to watch it and not be repulsed.  

The latest stunt keep the lesbian character from having sex?  She's pregnant with a fetus from the future.  

It's about as 'aware' as a very special episode of the original 90210.  

Her sisters have sex lives and then there's Mel, the Will Truman of CHARMED.  

What we might have applauded decades ago on an episode of PARTY OF FIVE is now woefully behind the times.  

We notice that DISNEY is connected to a lot of actors that have problems with being seen as gay.

Take LOVE, VICTOR's Michael Cimino who felt the need to tell the world that it's really, really hard, being gay on TV is really hard.  Poor straight boy, some members of his family were upset he was playing a gay character.  Golly, imagine how hard he'd have it if he were actually gay.


That's why you don't cast a straight guy to play a gay man in a story about how it's okay to be gay -- he opens up his dumb, uninformed mouth to reporters and comes off like an idiot who doesn't begin to understand what the character he plays actually has to go through.

Or take Anthony Mackie who really needs to dig deep and figure out why he's becoming so homophobic.  He's bothered that fans might think Bucky and Sam are attracted to one another in THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER.  Even more so, he wants you to know that he's not able to go to a bar with a male friend because people will assume he's gay.

Why?  Is he diving under the table at the bar so he can go down on his male friend?


If Mackie's confused about  exactly who is wondering if he's gay, he might try looking in the mirror where he'll find the man most obsessed with that issue.

Representation isn't really where it should be, let alone where it needs to be.  And we're really not at the place where we need to hear how the acceptance of gay people in our society carries with it a hard, difficult stigma for straight people who want to hang out with their own gender.  

As June winds down, it's so very sad and telling that we realize, instead of celebrating PRIDE, too many are busy trying to pimp shame.  

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