The Disney animated show “Gravity Falls” recently had its six-year anniversary since its ending. The show’s creator, Alex Hirsch released a video on Twitter covering some of the most absurd emails he got from the companies’ standards and practices (S&P) department. Once you get past how funny some of Disney’s ideals are, the amount of censorship “Gravity Falls” received or almost received hits you.
Some of the highlights from the Twitter video include: “Please revise ‘poopface’ as it comes across as a replacement for ‘shitface’.” “It has come to our attention that ‘hoo-ha’ is a slang term for vagina, please revise.” To which Alex Hirsch responded: “It is a proper word meaning excitement or hullabaloo, and that is CLEARLY its meaning here. The context is an owl-themed restaurant called ‘Hoo-Ha’s Jamboree’.”
Throughout the series, Disney was also determined to censor the clearly romantic relationship between two male police officer characters, Blubs and Durland. In another point in his Twitter video, S&P said this: “Please revise the action of Blubs putting his arm around Durland. As noted in previous concerns, their affectionate relationship should remain comical versus flirtatious.”
Disney’s anti-representation doesn’t just stop with the cops. In an interview with Hirsch on The Mary Sue by Vrai Kaiser, they asked: “One of the issues around the show was representation/diversity, and there were a lot of rumors about what Disney would/wouldn’t allow—the little old ladies falling in love in “The Love God” is probably the most famous example. Any comment?” He responded: “Back on ‘Love God’ there was a scene in the script that described a few random couples in a diner falling in love through the power of cupid’s magic. When one of our storyboard artists presented the scene to me, she’d made one of the couples two lovable old ladies. It was sweet and casual and I knew INSTANTLY that it was going to turn into a huge fight with Disney. So naturally I left it in. The note came back immediately ‘The scene of the two old ladies kissing in the diner is not appropriate for our audience. Please revise.’” Alex went on to talk about when he asked why, it left S&P speechless. They couldn’t think of a single reason why, and made him talk on the phone so there would be no paper trail. They admitted that they were pandering to complaints from homophobic parents, and that’s why they did not want to include the same-sex kiss.
The last thing thing he says in that portion of the interview is that he would love for Disney to finally have the guts to show a proper same-sex kiss on air. Now, the interview is way back in 2017, but another Disney show, “The Owl House,” recently did fulfill Alex Hirsch’s wish. They also showed the old woman couple from “Gravity Falls” together in an episode. In a way, new Disney cartoons are carrying “Gravity Falls’” torch and fighting Disney’s views.
By Inti Navia, Junior, ChiArts