The representations of women in love with other women, of men happy with the company of other men, or any other type of relationship that is not heteronormative, begin to multiply in the films and series aimed at children and young people of great powers like Netflix, Marvel, pixar either Disney. However, despite their efforts to generate inclusive and multicultural content, it is not easy to position these stories against the wave of rejection and prohibition from the most conservative sectors.
This rejection of representations of homosexual love is especially noticeable in those fictions that have scenes where lesbian women they express themselves with a kiss, a hug, a gesture, or even a few words. Some examples of this were seen shortly after titles like Lightyear (Pixar), Thor: love and thunder (Marvel), Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous (Netflix), where there were drastic repercussions, such as banning and censorship in some countries.
“Jurassic World: Cretaceous Camp”: the kiss between women that “broke a law”
This week it was learned that a citizen of Hungary filed a complaint with the National Authority for News Media and Services (NMHH) of that country for a scene of a lesbian kiss in the Netflix teen animated series Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous.
This complaint, far from being rejected, was taken into consideration by the media regulatory authority, which determined that the streaming platform had violated a law voted by Parliament in June last year. It is a regulation -very criticized by activists- that links homosexuality with pedophilia and prohibits talking about homosexuality and sex change to 18-year-oldsboth in schools and in the media dedicated to minors.
“The investigation concluded that this scene (the one with the kiss) and the representation of creatures that cause terror, that persecute the characters, could be detrimental to children’s personality development“, affirmed the NMHH, while anticipating that inform the Dutch authorities so they can look into the complaint.
Hungary has no authority over Netflix because it is a company registered abroad, but for the state entity, the program could only have been broadcast with the warning that It is not suitable for children under twelve years of age., he indicated. On the other hand, the European Commission considered that this law, proposed by the ruling party Fidesz, was openly homophobic and shameful.
“Lightyear” banned in 14 countries for a kiss
A lesbian kiss which is less than four seconds long in the Disney-Pixar animated film Lightyearraised a tsunami of reactionary and discriminatory comments, mostly from Catholic and Evangelical groups, who screamed to heaven with this scene.
The controversy took place in June of this year, when it was revealed that the fiction centered on the space ranger Buzz Lightyear from the “Toy Story” saga would not be released in 14 countries due to the homophobic policies that govern there.
The film, which is aimed at a child-youth audience, has a scene in which two female characters kiss. While Argentines of all ages were able to enjoy it without inconvenience -beyond the expressions of hate on social networks-, the Media Regulatory Office United Arab Emirates reported in a statement that “Lightyear” does not have permission to be shown in all theaters in the country “because it violates media content standards”. To this prohibition were added, among others, Kuwait, Indonesia, Egypt, Lebanon Y Malaysiacountries in which homosexuality is still considered a crime.
The Disney company openly stated its refusal to modify the film to censor these images in countries where having diverse sexual orientations is not allowed. “We’re not going to take anything away, especially something as important as the loving and inspiring relationship that shows Buzz what he’s missing out on by the choices he makes, so that’s will not be removed”, they pointed out.
Chris Evans, the actor who gives voice to the character of the astronaut, also expressed his rejection of lesbian censorship: “The truth is that these people are idiots“He considered in an interview.
In May, Disney had already refused to cut scenes showing a lesbian marriage in the marvel movie Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness. Middle Eastern countries, such as Saudi Arabia, decided not to show the film.
“Thor: Love and Thunder”: heroines of love against evil
Despite the fact that Marvel films are very well received in the United States and the world, and that they are mostly the ones that lead the box office, several Arab countries decided to ban the screening of Thor: love and thunder in movie theaters due to the presence of homosexual characters and for LGBTIQ+ references.
The fiction, which premiered in July, contains explicit allusions to homosexuality. For example, the character played by Tessa Thompson, “Valkyrie”, expresses romantic feelings towards another woman. Also, in another sequence, the character of “Korg”, a rocky humanoid creature of the Kronan species -brought to the screen with the voice of director Taika Waititi-, begets a child with another male of his race. This was challenged in Arab countries, where gender issues and sexual freedoms remain taboos.
In Bahraina country that encompasses more than 30 islands in the Persian Gulf, the Ministry of Information “decided to stop the screening” of “Thor: Love and Thunder” with the excuse of “preserving the virtuous values of society”according to a statement.
In this line, the largest exhibition company of Malaysia, Golden Screen Cinemas, announced months ago that the fiction was not going to be released in that country. The Cinematographic Censorship Committee would have asked the production companies to make cuts to the original film, without optimal results.
Other youth films and series that were criticized for their LGBTIQ+ content
Social organizations and activists for the rights of sexual freedom and gender expression often complain that the platforms that start broadcasting content with stories that are not “heteronormative” end up lowering or canceling them for no apparent reason.
Last July it was announced that HBO production will not continue Gentlemen Jacka series launched in 2019 that was based on the private diaries of the English Anne Lister, a landowner, businesswoman and traveler from Yorkshire, played by Suranne Jones, who maintains a love relationship during the nineteenth century with Ann Walker, played by Sophie Rundle, and other women. The fiction has two seasons and 16 episodes in total.
After it emerged that the drama had been cancelled, hundreds of thousands of fans found themselves on social networks to demand that the production resume filming the story under the hashtags #SaveGentlemanJack either #RenewGentlemanJack. No success, for now.
As for animated youth series that were echoed by kisses between women, there is also Bottom 3: Tales of Arcadia, a production by Guillermo del Toro whose official premiere was in 2018, on Netflix. Although it is still among the content catalog of the platform, it did not stop receiving negative reactions from conservative groups.
The animated series, according to the “N” app, is about two royal alien teenagers who crash-land on Earth and camouflage themselves among humans while on the run from intergalactic bounty hunters. In a certain scene of the seventh episode of the second part, the character of “Sharon” tells her friend that she does not want to die without first having kissed someone, and the young woman replies that she also wants the same thing. At that moment they look at each other and kiss..
Finally, the third series to close its curtain after a single season on Netflix this year was First Kill. It was about one lesbian storya dramatic teen strip, where two girls (one white and one African-American) fall in love but “can never be together” because one of them is descended from a vampire caste and the other from a lineage of vampire hunters.
Despite criticism for the numerous clichés in its script and its poor quality of special effects, this story teen It reached the top 10 on Netflix. in different countries. When the platform announced that it would not renew the contract for the series, it aroused the discomfort of a solid fan base, disappointed by the unfinished ending of this drama. Will it be a coincidence?