Online campaigning group One Million Moms have taken issue with a scene in Toy Story 4 so brief and insignificant you may well have missed it.
The scene in question shows two mothers dropping their kid off at Bonnie’s school together, later returning to collect the child and give him a hug.
Compared to angst-ridden forks and genuinely chilling ventriloquist dummies, this isn’t a particularly memorable scene, and those on the UNILAD editorial desk have admittedly had a hard time recalling it.
However, this is a scene which has caused outrage among One Million Moms members, whose petition against Disney has gained 12,555 signatures at the time of writing. Apparently they aren’t playing around.
According to this petition, One Million Moms members believe they have been ‘blindsided intentionally’ by Disney, a company they apparently continue to ‘distrust’.
Members have also been left up in arms by a reference to ‘not hiding in a closet’, stating:
So many families probably plan on seeing this movie if they haven’t already and will be blindsided by this subtle but obvious promotion of the LGBTQ lifestyle.
Not to mention there was a brief comment made about not hiding in a closet also in the movie. Some children may not catch this reference, but it was extremely unnecessary as with the lesbian couple.
Both were brief and didn’t need to be included since it didn’t add to the story plot at all.
These “blink and you will miss” moments were included strictly to push an agenda.
One Million Moms have accused Disney of choosing ‘to be politically correct versus providing family-friendly entertainment’, advising the multinational conglomerate to ‘stick to entertaining instead of pushing an agenda and exposing children to controversial topics’.
One Million Moms is a division of the American Family Association, with members viewing themselves as standing up against the supposed, ‘immorality, violence, vulgarity and profanity the entertainment media’ being ‘thrown’ at their children.
They have previously campaigned against Mr. Ratburn’s same sex marriage in Arthur as well as against the Missy Elliot song Work It being used in a KitKat advert.
Still can’t get over Toy Story 4. 😭 did anyone see the same sex parents at Kinder orientation ❤️
— celina (@chemmybreezy) June 26, 2019
Members appear to position themselves as being the voice of American mothers, promising them the opportunity of having a ‘powerful impact’.
However, perceiving a very ordinary moment as being ‘controversial’ simply isn’t representative of American mothers as a whole, many of whom are raising children within same-sex relationships.
According to 2017 data from the Family Equality Council, between two million and 3.7 million children under the age of 18 in the USA have an LGBTQ+ parent, with approximately 200,000 of them being raised by a same-sex couple.
No doubt many of these families will have headed out to catch the latest instalment of Toy Story, a demographic brushed aside by One Million Moms’ restrictively narrow pursuit of a ‘moral society’.
The scene itself was, as previously stated, so subtle it simply blended into the bright, humorous world of Toy Story without missing a beat.
And it was the brief, everyday nature of the moment which brought it plenty of praise by critics and viewers alike.
Kate Gardner from The Mary Sue wrote:
For one brief, glorious moment, I saw myself in a Pixar film. They can do better, and in fact need to do better, but this small moment was a lovely first step.
Daniel Megarry from the Gay Times wrote:
What makes this moment in Toy Story 4 so special is that it isn’t a big deal at all.
A LESBIAN COUPLE ON TOY STORY 4!!!!! THIS IS WHAT I LIVE FOR
— ty (@dcncomics) June 26, 2019
The ‘no big deal’ aspect of the scene is what appears to have alarmed One Million Moms, who have accused Disney of ‘attempting to normalize this lifestyle’.
What One Million Moms members have cruelly failed to understand is how this moment will have made plenty of viewers feel more represented as a member of the audience.
And this will have included mothers who, like One Million Moms, want to have their voices heard.
UNILAD spoke with Kate Mitchell, who is one half of the blogging team, Lesbemums.
Lesbemums is a blog which explores what parenthood is like within same-sex relationships, following the parenting journey of Kate and her wife. Like many mums, Kate has been to see the new Toy Story, and didn’t initially notice the scene which has so aggravated One Million Moms.
Kate told UNILAD:
Scenes in Toy Story 4 that depicted families like mine not only play a vital role in ‘normalising’ us but they also send a message to children like mine that they’re not alone. That they’re just like everyone else. It’s hard when we’re watching television not to see a family like us on the screen.
Watching the film, I’ll be honest and say that we didn’t notice the scene – and we always notice things like this – which goes to show how much of a “nothing” scene it was.
It played no integral part of the story, but the subtleness would have meant the world to children like mine or those who perhaps don’t feel safe to be who they are yet. I feel sad that groups like OMM spent more time getting angry at two (fictional) women dropping their child off at school than the rest of the film which, by the way, had plenty of innuendos to feast upon!
Kate began blogging around five years ago, before she and her wife began trying for a child. They wanted to document their journey to motherhood, and to connect with LGBTQ+ families in similar situations.
Kate told UNILAD how she and her wife tried for a baby for two years, eventually falling pregnant with their son:
Eventually, we fell pregnant and our son is now four – starting school in September – but that’s not to say it hasn’t been easy. Whilst we go through the same struggles as any other parent; breastfeeding, weaning, potty training, etc, we have added struggles on top of that.
From being asked ridiculous questions such as “who’s the real mum” and scratching out ‘Father’ on out of date forms. There’s also the many times we have to come out to people when correcting their assumption that I’m married to a man as well as explaining to our son why everyone else has a mummy and a daddy.
He’s totally cool with it and accepts it the same way like why certain children like certain foods – they just do – but it’s something we have to constantly work on. As he gets older I imagine the questions will change.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 9am until 9pm Monday to Friday, and 10am until 6pm Saturday, Or email [email protected]
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.