Drag Race star Nina West, Kermit the Frog and more to headline Disney Pride spectacular
RuPaul’s Drag Race star Nina West, Kermit the Frog and more are set to headline Disney Plus’ This Is Me: Pride Celebration Speculator.
Slated for a 27 June release date on Disney’s streaming service, the Pride Month special will be an all-star virtual concert honouring the kaleidoscopic LGBT+ community.
According to Deadline, West will host the gig that will see the likes of Hayley Kiyoko, Todrick Hall, Glee‘s Alex Newell, Disney’s DCappella group and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series stars Frankie Rodriguez and Joe Serafini perform.
Jackie Cox, Jesse James Keitel and Michael James Scott will also be singing beloved Disney classics with a queer twist.
.@DisneyPlus announces ‘This Is Me: #Pride Celebration Spectacular,’ a virtual concert hosted by #DragRace star Nina West, featuring musical performances by Alex Newell, Hayley Kiyoko, Todrick Hall, Kermit The Frog, Jackie Cox, and more.
Airing Sunday, June 27th at 8pm ET. pic.twitter.com/OWBuD8BfH8
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) June 17, 2021
This Is Me: Pride Celebration Speculator will seek to raise awareness for the American non-profit GLSEN, which works to stamp out anti-LGBT+ bullying and harassment in schools.
The special comes in the wake of Disney ending up in some seriously hot water over a tweet that marked Pride Month. It featured five of its most iconic characters walking across a striped flag with the colours of the Progress flag earlier this month.
“There’s room for everyone under the rainbow,” the tweet read.
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Not quite, critics hit back. The company was accused by countless users of tweeting out a hollow gesture, including from Gravity Falls creator Alex Hirsch.
Hirsch claimed he weathered pushback from Disney when he confirmed two of the show’s characters were gay in a 2016 season finale. They were wary, he said, of the company “losing precious pennies” from Russian and Chinese markets.
Disney also became the subject of criticism when it moved Love, Victor from Disney Plus to Hulu over the series’ so-called “adult themes”.
The shift even made the show’s writers reconsider whether LGBT+ lives are “inherently more adult”, and cautious of what stories they could tell “kids”.
Ultimately, one of the writers told Variety, the jump to Hulu enabled the show to shrug off concerns about being “family-friendly” and fully explore the complexities of a young gay man exploring his identity.