The Disney company long has had a “gay” advocacy position at its theme parks, where “gay days” are routinely held.
That’s far afield from reports that founder Walt Disney “personally” fired Tommy Kirk, the actor of “Swiss Family Robinson” fame, over his homosexuality.
But since then, Disney used “out” singer Elton John’s music for “The Lion King” and more.
Now, however, the company has stepped into a whole new minefield with its promotion of homosexuality – to children.
The moves in the company’s remake of “Beauty and the Beast” and its television show “Star vs. the Forces of Evil” have prompted a call by Franklin Graham, CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Association, for a boycott.
“Disney has aired a cartoon with same-sex couples kissing. It has also been announced that their new movie ‘Beauty and the Beast’ will feature a gay character in an attempt to normalize this lifestyle,” he wrote on Facebook.
“They’re trying to push the LGBT agenda into the hearts and minds of your children – watch out! Disney has the right to make their cartoons, it’s a free country. But as Christians we also have the right not to support their company. I hope Christians everywhere will say no to Disney.”
Graham noted that when he was a young boy he met Walt Disney, who was “very gracious to me, my father Billy Graham, and my younger brother when we visited.”
Walt Disney, he said, “would be shocked at what has happened to the company that he started,” Graham wrote.
He encouraged readers to “let Disney know how you feel.”
Tens of thousands of comments followed his statement, with a small percentage taking the opposite view.
Wrote Colleen Brennan: “Just don’t forget, some of those SINNERS, fight to keep y’all (the ones who hate them) safe. Military, cops, paramedics, firefighters, doctors. Hell, some even cook y’all’s food and make the clothes or y’all’s backs.”
“JMLH” wrote only, “Homophobes!”
And Jake Canter said: “If there is an LGBT agenda, it’s love, acceptance, and equality. Disney seems to support those virtues. Your agenda sounds a lot like hate. Christians seem to support that.”
At USA Today, Religion News Service writer Jonathan Merritt came down on Disney’s side, too.
“When it was announced last week that Disney’s forthcoming Beauty and the Beast film would feature the company’s first gay character, many responded with singing and dancing. But some conservative Christians have opted for sackcloth and ashes,” he wrote. “Conservative Christian outrage over any positive portrayals of LGBT people in film and television is a tale as old as time, but this effort seems particularly misguided. It risks making Christians look like antiquated bigots, and it reeks of moral hypocrisy. And worse, it diverts energy from a more worthwhile effort: teaching Christian children to co-exist in a pluralistic society.”
He pointed out the movie hasn’t been released, so this is what is known: “There are no explicit discussions in the film about gay rights, gay marriage or the morality of gay relationships. The character in question, Gaston’s manservant LaFou, doesn’t have a husband or a boyfriend or even an explicit same-gender love interest in the film. In a single scene, LaFou experiences a ‘subtle’ moment where it seems he may (or may not) be attracted to Gaston.”
He charges Christians with a double standard for having supported Donald Trump for president while condemning portrayals of homosexuality in children’s shows.
“It’s impossible to reconcile boycotting Disney for including a kind-of-sort-of-possibly gay character in a film while supporting a thrice-married serial liar who has bragged about bedding married women and has admitted to grabbing women’s genitals without permission,” he wrote.
But Graham’s call also got support.
Dan Boone wrote on Facebook: “Luke CH. 28-30 says it would get like the days of Lot when Jesus returns. Genesis CH. 19 details that time. We are there now. God destroyed those cities for the wickedness. Homosexuality was one of the chief sins of that time.”
From Rhonda Miles: “Done with Disney! Really … babies watch Disney. That is not OK.”
From Chriss Lion Boyukliev: “Can we do anything to convince Disney to cut this scene off? Despite the fact that this is wrong and anti-biblical it will also not lead to good income for them! There are still many Christians who will stand firm on the Bible and who won’t see the movie. Disney needs to figure this out and not ruin the movie.”
The movie trailer is here:
The London Daily Mail has reported on the same-sex kiss in the Disney TV show.
“In an episode of Star vs the Forces of Evil which aired on channel Disney XD a gay couple can be seen sharing a kiss for this first time in the history of the company,” the report said. “In the second series of the cartoon, protagonist Star and her friend Marco attend a concert and find themselves surrounded by kissing couples. … Among the crowd two men can be seen sharing a smooch and later in the episode two further lesbian couples are also spotted kissing.”
Disney itself appears to endorse and approve of boycotts.
MSNBC reported Disney has opposed proposed legislation in Georgia that would protect the religious rights of business owners.
“They have made several hit Marvel movies (including ‘Ant-Man’ and the upcoming ‘Captain America; Civil War’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’) in the Atlanta area, in part because of the state’s generous tax breaks,” the report said.
“But the company has no interest in being associated with the bill.”
It quoted a company spokesman’s statement: “Disney and Marvel are inclusive companies, and although we have had great experiences filming in Georgia, we will plan to take our business elsewhere should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law.”
The Henadar Drive-in Theatre in Alabama, however, won’t be promoting the LGBTQ agenda to children.
The owners stated: “If I can’t sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it. I know there will be some that do not agree with this decision. That’s fine. We are first and foremost Christians. We will not compromise on what the Bible teaches. We will continue to show family oriented films so you can feel free to come watch wholesome movies without worrying about sex, nudity, homosexuality and foul language. Thank you for your support!”
On WND, writer Michael Brown, who has dissected the pro-homosexual arguments, wrote: “As Martin Luther King once remarked, ‘Cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But, conscience asks the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.
“That is the question we need to ask ourselves: As followers of Jesus, it is right for us to boycott Disney in general or ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in particular?”
He concluded that the boycott is not wrong, but Christians need to make sure they are not either “watching all types of foul entertainment … [or] allowing the TV (or Internet) to babysit our kids, practicing no-fault divorce in the church, and not lifting a finger to address other, pressing social ills (like abortion, for one).”
“We’re talking about impressionable kids, and we’re all too aware of a very intentional, hardly covert, LGBT agenda in Hollywood. (As Elizabeth Taylor famously remarked, ‘If it weren’t for gays, honey, there wouldn’t be a Hollywood.’)”
“Beauty” director Bill Condon has confirmed in a homosexual lifestyle magazine that the Le Fou character would exhibit same-sex attraction in what he termed ‘a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.'”
Condon also said actor Josh Gad “makes something really subtle and delicious out of it.”
“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” Condon said.
In the Greensboro News & Record newspaper, Bill Leonard, a religion teacher at Wake Forest University, said: “Just as Disney has a right to develop its film in a certain way, Franklin as a right to say what he has to say based on his convictions. Christian folks have to decide how they understand the Gospel about these issues.”
In the same report, Thomas B. Ellis, a religion teacher at Appalachian State University, agreed.
Christians can choose not to support a movie from Disney, which can choose to make “a film depicting any character of any race, class, gender, sexual orientation and physical ability,” he said.
He also charged Graham was “misinformed that one’s sexual orientation is ultimately a choice.”
Denny Burk, professor of biblical studies at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, advises against taking children to see the movie, saying, “I am not going to let a movie studio communicate to my children that sexual immorality is ‘normal and natural.'”
Whether a boycott succeeds likely could make a significant difference to Disney, the New York Times suggested.
“‘Beauty and the Beast’ cost more than $300 million to make and market,” the report said.
American Family Association, which reaches millions of constituents, told CBN there is no room for wavering.
“We are urging families not to watch Disney. There are many other channels you can watch, many other cartoons you can watch,” said AFA’s Walker Wildmon. “There’s no doubt, Disney has been sneaking this [gay influence] in.”
He continued: “This is unnatural behavior. We have to be careful here because we cannot accept the premise that homosexuality is normal. Homosexuality is unnatural, unhealthy, and not to mention unbiblical.”