In 2016, Frozen fans launched #GiveElsaAGirlfriend, a social media campaign that garnered significant media attention, even drawing comment from some of its stars. Jennifer Lee, the writer and co-director behind the Disney hit, spoke with HuffPost this week, and the site asked if there was potential for Elsa to indeed get a GF in the sequel.
“I love everything people are saying [and] people are thinking about with our film―that it’s creating dialogue, that Elsa is this wonderful character that speaks to so many people,” Lee said. “It means the world to us that we’re part of these conversations.”
“Where we’re going with it, we have tons of conversations about it, and we’re really conscientious about these things,” Lee continued, “For me … Elsa’s every day telling me where she needs to go, and she’ll continue to tell us. I always write from character-out, and where Elsa is and what Elsa’s doing in her life, she’s telling me every day. We’ll see where we go.”
The social media campaign started after fans started speculating that the film’s hit song “Let It Go” was a coming out anthem. The animated film’s star Idina Menzel, who voices Elsa, told PrideSource that she was “really happy” her character ignited this conversation.
“Maybe at first I was a little surprised because it’s Disney, but I can say that I’m excited that the conversation is happening.” Menzel said, “I can’t promise anybody that that’s what’s gonna happen… But deep down am I really happy that it’s causing people to talk about it and have these kinds of conversations? Yeah, I am.”
The Tony-winning Broadway star compared the fan reactions to her time on Rent, playing a bisexual character in a same-sex relationship.
“I’d get all these amazing letters from young kids struggling with their sexual orientation and who they were and how they wanted to come out, and it’s continued to be like that, really, with Wicked and Frozen, with Elsa,” she said.“There are always these characters who are literally trying to come out of the closet―they’re hiding something within them that they’re afraid to let people see, and then finally they embrace it and change the world around them.”
Menzel and Kristen Bell, who voices Anna in Frozen, sat down for an interview with YouTuber Tyler Oakley, and when prodded on the subject, Bell said, “Whatever Elsa wants to do is up to her, and it’s up to us to support her.I cannot confirm or deny I think in Frozen 1 she was young, so she’s still figuring stuff out.”
Unfortunately, there’s still no real word on what Elsa’s storyline will be like in Frozen 2. Disney hasn’t been very inclusive of the LGBTQ community in the past. Last year, the studio promised an “exclusively gay moment” in the live-action Beauty & The Beast remakewhich fell short, as the film only showed LeFou dancing with another male character. There was also speculation in 2016 about an alleged lesbian couple featured for an ephemeral moment in a Finding Dory trailer, but the couple was not featured in the film. When asked about the couple, the film’s director said, “They can be whatever you want them to be. There’s no right or wrong answer.”
The cop-out answers from Disney and their filmmakers are getting tired, and quite frankly insulting. It’s high time the studio featured a same-sex couple or a character who doesn’t identify as straight. They have a huge opportunity with Elsa, an adult protagonist whose sexuality has yet to be defined, as she wasn’t given a love story in the first film. Hopefully Frozen 2 will be different.