'Gravity Falls' creator slams Disney over Pride Month tweet

Alex Hirsch, the creator of hit animated mystery series Gravity Falls, called out Disney on Twitter on Wednesday, June 2, over the animation giant's Pride Month tweet.

Disney posted a picture featuring the iconic characters of Mickey, Goofy, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy walking in front of a background that showed the LGBTQ+ community's rainbow flag. It was accompanied by a caption: "There's room for everyone under the rainbow. Happy #PrideMonth!"

American animator Hirsch was not too pleased by Disney's tweet. In a retweet of the post on the same day, Hirsch criticized Disney's supposed hypocrisy about the LGBTQ+ community, joking that the company only capitalizes on the event when it earns them profit.

"Disney privately: Cut the gay scene! We might lose precious pennies from Russia & China!" he wrote.

"Disney publicly: Honk honk we put rainbow bumper sticker on Lightning McQueen today CONSUME OUR PRODUCTS TEENS," he added.

Hirsch posted a follow-up tweet that read: "To any creative at Disney TV, Feature, Publishing or Streaming: please mercilessly spam your execs with 'there's room for everyone under the rainbow' next time they tell you to 'please revise' your LGBTQ+ character for 'not being Disney appropriate.'"

Hirsch's tweets appeared to stem from a prior issue he had with Disney on how the company's executives allegedly forced him to exclude LGBTQ+ characters from his show.

In a tweet from August 2020, Hirsch revealed how Disney forbade him from creating scenes that explicitly showed LGBTQ+ representation. 

"Back when I made GF (Gravity Falls), Disney FORBADE me from any explicit LGBTQ+ rep. Apparently, 'happiest place on earth' meant 'straightest,'" the tweet read.

However, this was immediately followed by Hirsch praising the network for allowing fellow American animator Danna Terrace to feature queer main characters on her show, The Owl House, which is another Disney animated series.

After Gravity Falls aired its last episode, Disney began to allow more shows and films to feature LGBTQ+ characters such as Star vs. The Forces of Evil, The Owl House, Onward, and Pixar's short film Out.

The company still exercised censorship of LGBTQ+-inclusive moments in some of their films to cater to their large box-office markets in Russia and China. Last year, Pixar's Onward was censored in Russia over a brief line that confirmed a character's sexuality as a lesbian. 

The company had also extended its censorship to racial inclusivity, wherein they whitewashed a character that was supposed to be of Tibetan origin in the Marvel film Doctor Strange in hopes of not angering China over the Tibetan sovereignty dispute.

The harsh criticism of Hirsch towards Disney came after the company had started to release LGBTQ+-themed merchandise. As of Thursday, June 3, the company has not responded to the animator's tweets. – John Patrick Magno Ranara/Rappler.com

John Patrick Magno Ranara is a Rappler intern.