Pixar cinematographer weighs in on whether Turning Red character is queer
A Pixar cinematographer has seemingly confirmed that a character in the studio’s latest movie Turning Red may be queer.
Turning Red, which follows 13-year-old Mei Lee as she discovers that strong emotions turn her into a giant red panda, has captured audiences since it was released on Disney Plus, with many interpreting a character as queer.
Mei’s friend Priya is seen dancing with a girl at a party, with her friends cheering her on in the background, something that fans have taken to be a sweet and subtle nod to a crush.
Andrea Goh, a cinematographer for Pixar, spoke about the scene on Twitter, saying that it was a “slice of queer representation”.
She said: “I am proud of this moment because as nerve wrecking as it was, I asked for a slice of queer representation anyways”.
My first Cultural Trust credit: The team already knew what to do since they ARE those characters, so it’s more just tweaks for specificity here and there. I am proud of this moment because as nerve wrecking as it was, I asked for a slice of queer representation anyways. #priya https://t.co/nkEoIjPROp
— Andreagoh 吴筱薇 (@Andreagoh) March 12, 2022
Goh has also spoken about the importance of Asian representation in Turning Red, saying a particular scene in which Mei says she is “all about that hustle” and “officially a grown-up” at 13-years-old “speaks to me”.
She said: “This scene speaks to me so much because part of me growing up Asian is that it’s all about the hustle to get that bread. Now I am trying to unlearn some of it *insert panda ugly cry*.”
The heartwarming tweet comes as Disney, the parent company of Pixar, has seen staff stage a week of walk-outs due to CEO Bob Chapek’s response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
The divisive bill would essentially ban the discussion of LGBT+ lives in classrooms in Florida.
Disney came under fire after donating to several politicians who helped push the bill through; Chapek has since apologised and paused all political donations in Florida.
The Disney Do Better group wrote in an open letter: “By supporting the politicians who brought this legislation and not taking a public stand against it, Chapek and [The Walt Disney Company] leadership have made it clear they are more than willing to sacrifice their employee’s health and wellness in service of the bottom line.
“We will stand for this anymore.”
The group has urged Disney to reaffirm its commitment to protecting and advocating for LGBT+ staff, and to “take responsibility for their inaction to protect the rights of LGBTQIA+ children and their families by making substantial contributions to The Trevor Project and other human rights advocacy groups”.
Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill has been approved by both houses and is on the desk of governor Ron DeSantis, who has indicated his support.