Disney + LGBT ‘Say It With Pride’ special on YouTube, Facebook
Next week, Disney + will release its second annual variation special for Pride Month – with a parade of talents celebrating the LGBT community “through song and storytelling”.
But “Say it with pride: Disney + Celebrates Pride 365” will not be available on Disney + itself. Rather, the special will premiere June 30 at. 20.00 ET on Disney +’s YouTube and Facebook channels.
Asked why “Say It With Pride” will not be distributed on Disney +, a company spokesman declined to comment. Last year’s “This Is Me: Pride Celebration Spectacular” from Disney + also streamed only on YouTube and Facebook.
According to Disney +’s announcement, the upcoming special “aims to raise voices from the community to discuss their travels, celebrate the achievements and contributions of the LGBTQIA + community, and look to a future that embodies diversity and unity with PRIDE.”
Why does it not fit into the Disney + programming? One way to look at this is that “Say It With Pride” is essentially an info commercial for Disney + – a tool for presenting the LGBT characters and stories on the service. As a non-subscriber content marketing pitch, it makes sense that the Disney + Pride special would be off-platform and available for free viewing. In the same way, the company produces “What’s Up, Disney +”, a weekly promotional talk show about the streaming service that goes up on YouTube and Facebook (and not Disney +).
To be sure, Disney + currently has a “Celebrate Pride Month” content collection, filled with movies and series such as “Trevor: The Musical” (premiere June 24), “Love, Victor”, “Glee”, “High School Musical” : The Musical: The Series, «Better Nate Than Ever», Pixar’s short «Out», the studio’s first project with a gay main character, and «West Side Story», starring Ariana DeBose, who this year became the first openly queer woman color to win an actor Oscar for the role.
Still, why wouldn’t Disney + put the “Say It With Pride” special on its own service? The museum house is obviously not shy about self-promotion. For example, the 14-minute Marvel Studios 2021 Disney + Day Special on the platform, mainly a supercut of shows like “WandaVision”, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and “Loki”, also teased Marvel’s upcoming Disney + releases.
The optics are that Disney wants to show support to LGBT staff and creative partners with the celebratory Pride special – but avoid annoying “anti-woke” conservative types by leaving it outside of Disney +.
The company has a long history of LGBT issues. Disney was the mother of Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law – and then came out in opposition to the law, which led to a setback that culminated in Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signing a bill to eliminate Disney’s autonomous tax district in Orlando. This month, Pixar’s “Lightyear” was banned in several West Asian countries and territories for a fleeting kiss of the same sex in the “Toy Story” spinoff (which Pixar recovered after employees accused Disney of censoring “overtly gay affection” in its films ). The scene also spun some American right-wing extremists into a tizzy about the media conglomerate’s unusually brief recognition that gays exist. In this context, by keeping “Say It With Pride” out of Disney +, the company may hope to minimize the predictable outrage of reactionary critics.
Talents appearing in Disney +’s Say It With Pride special include legendary composer and EGOT Alan Menken, Alex Newell (“Glee”), Angelica Ross (“Pose”), Disney Music Groups a cappella vocal group DCappella, artist Jack Hughes, Jenny Lorenzo (host of “What’s Up Disney +”), Jessica Darrow (“Encanto”), ESPN writer Katie Barnes, Nina West (“RuPaul’s Drag Race” and host of Disney +’s Pride special from 2021) , Rueby Wood (“Better Nate Than Ever”), Topher Ngo (“Turning Red”), Trans Chorus from Los Angeles and Victoria Alonso, Marvel’s President, Physical and Post Production, VFX and Animation Production.
Tee Vaden directs the special, which is produced in collaboration with Disney Music Group and Disney Pride Employee Resource Group. Watch the trailer for Disney +’s “Say It With Pride” special: