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Guernsey: Gay Disney kiss art troubles island

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  1. Catherine 2 Aug 2012, 5:18pm

    It’s so harmful to say that any mention of anything gay should be kept out of ‘family’ events. Some families consist of gay parents. Some families consist of gay kids. Aunts. Uncles. Grandparents. Etc.

    Even seemingly well-meaning people sometimes fall foul of this, but all it does is reinforce the idea that there is something risqué about being gay. No one seems to say “but what am I supposed to tell my kids when they see a man and a woman kissing?” People have been dealing with ways to explain/tackle public displays of affection in front of kids forever — the sooner we stop suggesting there’s something inherently ‘different’ about gay people kissing the better.

    1. Ryan Hendra 2 Aug 2012, 7:46pm

      Spot on, Catherine. It shouldn’t need to be ‘explained to toddlers’. If our media fairly portrayed all sexuality, they wouldn’t be confused (except that maybe Princess Jasmine and Aladdin have separated). These ‘liberal’ attitudes expose the closeted homophobia.

  2. Kimiko Kotani 2 Aug 2012, 5:23pm

    My son always wondered why the fairytales had only princessxprince. he wanted knightxprince, princexprince, etc. Cheating? Just explain to kids same characters, different fairytale. Geez…

  3. Not to scrutinise this article, but the character in the image at the top is not “Eric” but “Hercules” from the film of the same name.

    To be fair, we should be teaching kids that this stuff is acceptable and this is an effective way of making that point.

    I’d be more concerned abut the copyright infringement with Disney,

    1. Unless she’s selling the pieces, I think these fall into the right for parody, where copyright tends to get a bit wobbly and grey.

      Also, you win internets for knowing that that’s Hercules.

  4. I think now this is in the news I’d be worrying more about Disney who are incredibly litigious.

    Kids kiss each other on the lips when they’re little and I doubt it’s a sexual experience. They’re probably not even going to care, much less ask mummy and daddy about polygamous relationships ffs.

  5. How about a picture of Storm from the X-Men kissing one of the teacups from Beauty and the Beast?

    1. Peter Guthrie 3 Aug 2012, 9:03pm

      Storm and Rogue would be more appropriote. oh wait Rogue would absorb storms powers. Storm and Jean Grey. And to combat that Cyclops and wolverine now there is something I would love to see or even better Cyclops and Collosus, or Nightcrawler and beast together. Not that any of that would happen, Storm is married to the Black Panther and Jean Grey and Cyclops were once married.

  6. Spanner1960 2 Aug 2012, 5:59pm

    I don’t see any problem with the gay kiss thing, per se, but I do think the man made a valid point about not showing monogamous relationships when these people are already supposed to have girlfriends/wives.

    Nice idea, but I suspect the choice of characters were probably not the best.

    1. Well, I think at least two of the characters are excellent choices. As said above it’s not Eric but Heracles who’s kissing Aladdin, and Disney must just have forgotten to tell that in the original stories Herecles preferred kissing youths of his own sex. And Ariel, the little mermaid, is a personification of H.C. Andersen himself who felt deserted when the man he was very much romantically interested in married a woman, and he could just watch this happen and wasn’t even allowed to complain.

      1. Spanner1960 3 Aug 2012, 7:57am

        Yeah, I guess this is true. Why would Disney let tradition or facts get in the way of a good story? Personally, I wouldn’t have chosen Disney characters in the first place as the company is notoriously homophobic, as was their founder Walt Disney himself.

        All I am suggesting is, if the artist wants to get a message such as this across, (particularly to children), better to use clear-cut definitions that everyone understands. Also, as Ollie points out, they are liable to get hammered for copyright infringement as well.

        1. Having worked for Disney 10 years ago I’d say the argument that it’s notoriously homophobic is rather unfounded. There is a very strong and enforced diversity policy and frankly an enormous GLBT workforce. The joke we used to tell was “how many straight Disney employees does it take to change a light bulb? – both of them”.

          1. Spanner1960 3 Aug 2012, 1:04pm

            Well maybe things have changed, but I was involved in the design of the Disney Paris project (later EuroDisney) back in the 80’s and back then they were very particular about the people they employed, right down to facial hair and jewellery.

  7. “It is a little difficult to explain to toddlers why Ariel and Jasmine & Aladdin and Eric are kissing.”

    Its simple, they are attracted/love each other.

    You are a ‘little difficult’.
    Explain it to them, when they have kids maybe they won’t find it ‘difficult’.

    1. Galadriel1010 3 Aug 2012, 3:15pm

      What the kids will find difficult is the fact that they’re apparently not in love with their canon partners.

  8. “While I’m neither a prude nor anti-gay I was a little put off. I don’t think a family event is the place to display this work. It is a little difficult to explain to toddlers why Ariel and Jasmine & Aladdin and Eric are kissing.”

    It is only as difficult as you make it …this is why some children grow up not understanding and hating what they dont know . In my own view if one is honest from the word “Go” then there should never be a problem .Just same as a parent can explain about a man and a woman kissing the same can and should be done for gay couples.

    No matter how this story is told the message is the same . When two people love each be it gay/straight /white….it is the fact that they care for each other that should be the moral !! That should be the strongest message of all !! I

  9. “While I’m neither a prude nor anti-gay”


    “I don’t think a family event is the place to display this work”.

    It’s exactly the place

    “It is a little difficult to explain to toddlers why Ariel and Jasmine & Aladdin and Eric are kissing.”

    How can you call yourself a teacher?

  10. It’s obvious to see the “controversy” here, I think it’s more about the depiction of intimacy in front of children. Cute picture though.

    1. Gene Bivins 2 Aug 2012, 8:08pm

      What’s so “intimate” about a simple kiss? Are you being “intimate” when you kiss your child?

      1. I’m not agreeing with Yaoi, but the kiss pictured is clearly sexual.

  11. Fantastic to see art challenging individuals viewpoints. If it had not worked then there would not have been a reaction.

  12. “While I’m neither a prude nor anti-gay I was a little put off. I don’t think a family event is the place to display this work. It is a little difficult to explain to toddlers why Ariel and Jasmine & Aladdin and Eric are kissing.”
    ‘I am neither a prude nor anti-gay but I am now going to set out exactly why I am both.’
    Why are people SO predictable?

  13. Did they show Pocahontas in the Channel Islands?

  14. Gene Bivins 2 Aug 2012, 8:07pm

    “It is a little difficult to explain to toddlers why Ariel and Jasmine & Aladdin and Eric are kissing.”

    I’ll bet if you just answer, “because they love each other,” it’ll satisfy them. Even toddlers understand love.

  15. “Because I think the children will be confused about why Pocahontas and Ariel are cheating on their men. Aren’t you only supposed to kiss the person you’re with?”

    Just explain that people like playing with and making up new stories about fictional characters, and this person has made up some stories about these characters being with different people.
    No one should have to stop displaying the fruits of their imagination just because yours can’t keep up.

  16. Who cares what a population of tax avoiders think?

    1. As someone who was born in Jersey I have to defend my fellow islanders. Comments like these are actually tantamount to racism. Most of us were born here – these islands are our homes. Come pay us a visit and you might realise that.

      1. I agree with Matt – let’s try and avoid the usual anti Channel Islands remarks that are based on prejudice and ignorance please!

  17. I don’t think kids understand the concept of polygamous relationships.

    While on the one hand I suppose it’s good that this idiotic commentator inadvertently recognises same-sex marriage (how else could it be ‘polygamous’?), are there no divorced parents in Guernsey? Many children seem perfectly capable of coping with the idea that Mummy and Daddy have new partners nowadays, don’t they?

  18. could be a bit more passionate than that, wouldn’t hurt to give it a bit of tongue but I suppose the idea is alright.

  19. The funny is, considering how the Ancient Greeks treated homosexuality the picture with Hercules makes total sense.

  20. Suddenly Last Bummer 3 Aug 2012, 12:41am

    It offends me also- only because it is p1s$ poor art and a lame hackneyed idea.

    1. ‘Hackneyed’? Why, who else has done it?

      1. Suddenly Last Bummer 3 Aug 2012, 10:14am

        Google “disney porn” then get back to me with a different argument.

        1. Thanks, I don’t think I want to. Surely the point, however, is that this was shown in a mainstream art festival?

          1. Suddenly Last Bummer 3 Aug 2012, 1:48pm

            And probably shown for all the wrong reasons; generate a bit of notoriety for the ‘artist’ at some provincial arts festival. There are plenty of opportunities for artists to show challenging work to a larger audience on a vaster scale. Guernsey doesn’t strike me as Shoreditch or New York when it comes to contemporary art but then I doubt this work would be considered good enough for the majority of galleries and venues. I stand by my first comment; Sian Jones’ concept is a one liner, cliched and offends no one other than the gurning locals of Guernsey and those of us who like our art with a bit more meat on its bones.

          2. Sure, Rubens it ain’t. But for someone whio chooses to live and work in Guernsey, Shoreditch is (I imagine) pretty irrelevant. Shouldn’t this be evaluated in its context? I don’t get the impression that Sian Jones submitted her work with the intention of competing on an international scale.

          3. Suddenly Last Bummer 3 Aug 2012, 2:19pm

            Well her ‘work’ has achieved national notoriety now which is kinda inevitable and I don’t doubt it wasn’t something she hope for. All it takes is one moaning Minnie at local level to complain to the Gurning-sey Press and any self promoting artist worth their salt can crank it up to the next level. Also her use of Disney characters isn’t some obscure subject matter only a few people will get. She might as well have had a dig at McDonalds and Coca Cola whilst she was at it. I love art, I appreciate art that aims to provoke for all the right reasons, but hers is just a mindless empty stab at controversy.

          4. I take your point, but in the first place hers is a point I don’t object to (McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, while despicable multinationals, don’t – yet – promote happily-ever-after non-gay stories); and I think ‘national notoriety’ is overstating it somewhat – a quick google hasn’t thrown up any response outside Guernsey in the mainstream press. If it makes a few possibly smug Guernseyans[?] think again about their prejudices, is it really all that bad?

  21. “It is a little difficult to explain to toddlers why Ariel and Jasmine & Aladdin and Eric are kissing.”

    Thing is I want to live in (and deserve to) in a world where kids don’t need any more explanation about Hercules and Aladdin than they need an explanation of Mom and Dad kissing – or Dad and Dad – or Mom and Mom.

    The controversy? It’s in your head – not in your kids.

  22. Seems suspiciously similar to “Disasterland” by Mexican artist Rodolfo Loaiza (but admittedly the erogenisation of Disney is not entirely novel)…

    1. Suddenly Last Bummer 3 Aug 2012, 10:38am

      Tell that to Rehan, he seems to be in denial and a cultural vacuum.

      1. That’s very offensive based on one question he posed.

        1. Thank you Blazer. The Last Bummer doesn’t seem to realise that for most people there’s a difference between online porn sites, however amusing, and provincial art festivals.

  23. “While I’m neither a prude nor anti-gay I was a little put off. I don’t think a family event is the place to display this work. It is a little difficult to explain to toddlers why Ariel and Jasmine & Aladdin and Eric are kissing.” So I would ask the teacher who posted this quote, how do you explain to children images of naked men and women, which feature quite heavily in art?

    Children need to be aware that gay men and women exist. My brother and sisters did not hide my sexuality from my nieces and nephews when they were younger and now they are wonderful, accepting teenagers who challenge those who make homophobic comments!

  24. In response to the dumbfounded teachers comment, “It is a little difficult to explain to toddlers why Ariel and Jasmine & Aladdin and Eric are kissing.”, I would say just tell them the same thing you would had they asked why Snow White and Prince Charming are kissing.

    1. Okay. The next thing you will need to explain to them is why only just yesterday when the kid watched the cartoon Aladdin was in love with Jasmine, and now he’s suddenly in love with somebody else. And when next week he’s back with Jasmine you will need to explain that as well.

      While I don’t think that little kids would have problems with homosexuality (given that the adult doesn’t make a big deal out of it and handles it calmly), they might have problems with infidelity. Just remember the amount of drama it often caused in childhood when your friend went to play with other kid. :)

      It would’ve been much better if the artist had chosen the characters without an established onscreen relationship. It would’ve sent a much better and important message. It would’ve caused kids to question the reasons for these new homosexual romances were not shown on screen. You could’ve had the chance to explain that homophobia was bad.

      Alas, you’ll have to explain why cheating is okay instead.

  25. Spiritbody 3 Aug 2012, 1:03pm

    It seems to be the line “Its a little difficult to explain to toddlers why Ariel and Jasmine, and Eric and Aladdin are kissing”, that is getting the heckles up on everyones backs. And I agree. Its a dumb line. Even IF it were true, that it were difficult to explain it to toddlers, which I cant think why it would be, but even if it were, bringing up children is sometimes difficult! That doesnt mean you get to ignore and deny certain things to make it a bit smoother. Not if you want a healthy balanced education person at the end of it.

  26. Gosh, it looks like a clear case of copyright infringement to me. Disney are extremely protective of their brands and notoriously litigious. The will impose heavy fines on a local bakery for putting one of their characters on a child’s birthday cake without license.

    1. Galadriel1010 3 Aug 2012, 3:23pm

      I think I’ve seen another of these, and that could be very hard to explain to children, not because it’s erotic, but because Ariel is in the background looking furious. Maybe it’s just me, but I wouldn’t want to have to explain that blatant cheating to a small child, and I definitely wouldn’t want a small child who was going through or had gone through a parental divorce to see it. (This might not be the same artist, but they have appeared recently and in the same style, so I suspect they are)

      In general, though, I fully support the act. Fanfiction and fan art have a long and colourful history, and I’m a massive fan and eager participant. Disney can go blow it out their bottoms; it’s clearly a transformative work and as long as she’s not selling it for profit it’s perfectly legal.

      1. Galadriel1010 3 Aug 2012, 3:24pm

        Sorry, that wasn’t supposed to be a reply to you. Just me failing at internets.

  27. Why does it have to be something sexual right away? Can two friends kiss? Does it have to mean they are gay? Why does it matter? Can people just worry about thier own sad boring lives.

  28. I think that many people underestimate the intelligence that children have. Love is a fundamental, inborn, human trait and so even toddlers will be able to grasp this idea. Although, this has sadly caused a lot of contoversy (even though I don’t understand why), it was a good idea as it allows parents to explain to their toddlers that love isn’t limited to man and woman, using their own favourite Disney characters.

  29. I have these conversations with my son, and then he wants to discuss Pokemon. Gigalith is far more important than two Disney characters kissing.

  30. >> It is a little difficult to explain to toddlers why Ariel and Jasmine & Aladdin and Eric are kissing

    Erm.. “because they want to?”. EXACT same explanation as to why hetrosexuals kiss each other.

    1. p.s. I think its cute that some people said they are kissing because they are in love. :) Maybe they just hooked up on Grindr for some afternoon delight?

  31. I’m a toddler and I have to say, I’m not sure what all the fuss is about. Is it art? Thats the real question here. As for the lady who couldn’t explain it to her toddler.. oh dear. Someone educate her please.

  32. More of Hercules please.

    I knew I was gay after watching Hercules the movie, I was just attracted to that physique!

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