Wednesday 1 March 2017

Beauty and the Beast - arts and ethics

Not that I'm a big fan of Disney, but this article somehow got me thinking: Beauty and the Beast to feature first 'exclusively gay moment' in a Disney movie and I don't have to be a prophet to predict that there's going to be a petition soon to ban or raise the rating (currently PG) of the movie here and/or a call to boycott it.

After all, it's a mean blow to try and brainwash our impressionable kids with the gay agenda using an innocent fairy tale movie. Or is it? Are the artists on the opposite side the only ones guilty of manipulating the audience by subtly infiltrating works that are marketed as harmless frivolity with insinuating values and beliefs?

Honestly, how many times have we pretended to invite friends to a performance by XXX (insert celebrity's name) knowing full well that they will be bombarded with the gospel? What about the much-loved Veggietales which claims to promote 'Sunday Morning Values' with 'Saturday Morning Fun'? We play these videos over and over again to teach (some would say indoctrinate) our children the values and beliefs which we feel they should have.

Pot calling the kettle black, perhaps? Should we therefore take a step back and allow the other side to speak? Ok, I'm playing devil's advocate here but don't stone me yet for this is purely for the sake of discussion - comments are most welcome!

I have to put a caveat though - as a parent, I would still advise those with young children who are not yet mature enough to discern to put off watching the movie. And those with older ones, please do engage with them before and after watching and help them to process what they see. Other than gay identity, there are many other issues which I can think of for you to analyse and evaluate together, eg anger management, power and control, abusive relationships, feminism, chivalry vs chauvinism. So yes, it's fine to enjoy a bit of Disney entertainment, but keep your eyes open for opportunities to chat with your older kids too!

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