Are ‘gay moments‘ in recent movies a sign of progress?
A HUG. A wink. A dance. A nonanswer. These are the so-called gay moments in a handful of recent high-profile studio movies that have sparked both rapturous celebration and startling backlash.
From Sulu in to LeFou in
and now Trini in the latest Hollywood fascination is the subtle nod that a once straight or undefined character is now or has always been gay.
But it’s often so subtle that if it wasn’t first discussed by filmmakers or actors, it’s a wonder whether anyone would notice at all. Sulu can be seen hugging a man. LeFou winks at Gaston and later dances with a man. And Trini (Becky G) fails to answer a flirty question about whether she’s having “boyfriend problems”... or “girlfriend problems?”
What are we to make of these “blink and you’ll miss them” moments in a year when Moonlight, with its explicit exploration of gay themes, can rise to become the best picture winner at the Academy Awards? Is this progress? For some, it is. For others, it’s too much acclaim for too little action.
Buzzfeed film critic Alison Willmore wrote an article on Wednesday exploring the “outsized credit” that Hollywood was getting for the recent “seriously small moments of LGBT inclusivity”.
“While, to be sure, even incremental progress should be celebrated — any forward movement is better than none — this is an incredibly unsatisfactory beat to go on to be widely disseminated as a breakthrough for inclusivity,” Willmore wrote of the ambiguous Power Rangers moment.AP