Disney’s homophobia is showing again, this time on the popular social media app TikTok.
As a part of the recent Disney+ Day, the media company teamed up with TikTok to release a series of text-to-speech voices featuring beloved Disney characters. However, there was one issue that many fans noticed: these characters weren’t allowed to say words like “queer,” “gay,” or “lesbian.”
The new feature lets TikTok users type in text and hear characters — like Star Wars' C-3PO and Chewbacca, Guardians of the Galaxy's Rocket Raccoon, and Stitch from Lilo & Stitch — say the words out loud. But these beloved characters wouldn't say words that had to do with anything related to members of the LGBTQ+ community.
One user uploaded a video of the feature, using Rocket Raccoon’s voice from Guardian of the Galaxy. "Did you guys know that Disney won’t allow the voice to say 'gay.' But you can say 'gayy and 'gayy' and 'guay,'" Rocket’s voice reads, saying all of the words except for the correct first spelling of the word "gay."
"However you can say Disney is being homophobic and promotes homophobia on this app," Rocket continues.
"I’m a..., I’m..., I’m..., .... you Disney, you…" Rocket's voice says as the text on the screen reads, "I’m a lesbian, I’m gay, I’m queer, fuck you Disney, you suck."
This text-to-speech format is a normal feature on TikTok, but this is the first time the words "gay" or "lesbian" have been censored on the feature. In non-Disney versions of it, the voice will read the words aloud with no problem.
Words like "gay" and "lesbian" are banned from the feature along with sexual words like "suck" and "boobies," implying that queer identities are inherently sexual and inappropriate for children.
Disney had been making some strides recently with queer content. The Owl House is the first Disney Channel cartoon featuring a bisexual protagonist, Disney+’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series not only features a gay couple, but has a gay showrunner, and the latest Marvel Studios movie The Eternals had a gay superhero with a husband and son.
Still, moves like this show that the company still has a really, really, really long way to go. Hopefully, they will get there sooner than later...
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