At this very raw moment in American history, Disney may be our saving grace. The company founded by a man who once fired an actor for being gay has become an unlikely champion of LGBT representation in cinema: first there was the ballyhooed exclusively gay Lefou in the Beauty and the Beast remake, and the company seems to be steadily gushing progress. Disney have announced* that in their live action remake of Pocahontas, Percy the Pug will have an “exclusively bisexual moment”! Wow! This bisexual moment is sure to be liberating, and to make reparations — literally, all of the reparations! — for decades of derision and invisibility. The revolutionary announcement about the supporting pug has led GLAAD to issue a statement, declaring that its work is complete and that it will be shuttering immediately.
“For years we’ve been fighting to bring mainstream visibility to LGBT lives, and finally in Percy the Pug’s exclusively bisexual moment, we’ve seen the pinnacle of the potential of queerness — onscreen and off,” the organization said, referring to a line of bisexual Native American-themed dog treats that Disney also promised to sell in conjunction with the film.
On June 28, 1969, Marsha P. Johnson threw a brick that began the Stonewall riots; but soon, that date will most likely be supplanted in popular memory by the release date of Pocahontas, and we’ll be reimagining that brick as a based-on-a-cartoon live-action bisexual pug. For what is this snorting, legged, sex-positive sausage of a creature if not a fat brick thrown into the windows of the ignorant, propelling us all forward towards a tomorrow where, after all this time, irrelevant characters can steal media hyped, explicitly bisexual glances at straight characters who reject their advances and make them feel small?
For far too long, depictions of bisexuals onscreen have been desexualized, if not wholly erased — which is why it’s all the more thrilling that Percy the Pug will be played by Wayne Knight, Seinfeld‘s Newman (using motion capture technology for the aforementioned bisexual moment, as well as all other moments). He’ll be implementing a “silly but socially crucial pug voice.” Most of all, what Knight says he wants to convey is that “whether straight or gay or bisexual and pug, we’re all human.” That’s right, gurl/squashed dog!
Prominent LGBT rights activists have met the news that Percy will wag his not-straight-but-symbolically curled tail both ways with unconstrained joy; in the wake of the news, Larry Kramer recalled America’s dark past, saying, “If only we’d had characters like Percy the Pug, with his sledgehammered nose, hip failure, incessant grunting, relatively forgettable presence, and radical queerness to look at in the ’80s, perhaps the likes of President Reagan wouldn’t have been able to ignore us.”
Percy’s bisexual moment is noteworthy not only because of its bisexuality, but because it doesn’t shy away from the fact that bisexuality involves sexuality. Reportedly, the bisexual moment sees Percy sending a very mischievous wink to both Flit, the ruby-throated hummingbird (Lupita Nyong’o, yaaaas!), and Meeko, the raccoon (Chris Hemsworth, gimme), drawing on the complex spectrum of queer desires, while finally destigmatizing queer sex acts through the explicit display of the Pug winking at both a female hummingbird and a male rodent. Audiences on the Right have already been scandalized by the notion of a bisexual wink (particularly because such a thing involves twice as many winks as plain old heterosexuality would, natch), with some declaring a boycott of the film/dog breed. Russia likewise poked its head out of the Being John Malkovich-y control center of Donald Trump’s consciousness for long enough to declare the film propaganda for bisexual pugs. Conversely, sales of sexually fluid pugs have skyrocketed within liberal American enclaves, where people like you and I have been decrying the labrador heteropatriarchy ever since Old Yeller.
“We thought it’d be really inspiring to make the first explicitly bisexual moment belong to an obsequious, annoying, and expendable animal sidekick character,” a Disney rep told The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re also thinking of giving one of the skeletal peasant hag extras in the live-action Aladdin a lesbian moment, in which she’ll say ‘hello’ to Jasmine in that exclusively lesbian way; Jasmine will reject her advances by pushing her to the ground, leading the hag to choke on the single breadcrumb she can afford to eat. It’s all about uplifting the community.”
He also suggested what’s to come for Disney once they run out of stories to remake. “We’re actually starting to delve into actual recycling. We’ve got a pitch in the works on a $300 million Soda Bottle remake. We haven’t yet figured out a fun sexuality to allot the denigrated sidekick character, but there sure will be one.” Even now, it feels like Soda Bottle’s sure-to-be triumphant C-plot of minor acceptance is changing the world. What a time to be alive!
*This is all a joke. No such announcement has been made, ever. Also: context.