Disney’s Donald Duck comic books will include a gay couple following a request from 10-year-old Donald Duck fan Fenna.
According to Dutch website NOS, Fenna appeared on NOS Youth News alongside the comics editor-in-chief Joan Lommen to request a gay couple be added to the comics. Using Google Translate, Fenna said, “There are no gays or lesbians in Donald Duck, I’ve checked them all.” She would add that she isn’t interested in changing the main characters’ sexuality, but the characters seen in the background, “No, that’s not necessary, just the dolls in the background, you see a lot of couples, a few of those people can be gay.”
Fenna would go on to describe why the inclusion of a gay couple was important to her, “My parents are gays and lesbians and I think it’s important that that’s normal too, but in Duckburg it looks like it does not exist at all.”
Following the request, Lommen told Fenna that a gay couple would be included in an upcoming issue of the comic and that a drawing that was originally a man and a woman at a table had been changed to show two women.
The Donald Duck comics hav ebeen published in the Netherlands since 1952 and first appeared in Margriet. It is currently published by Sanoma. Volkskrant reported the Donald Duck comic was “the most widely read magazine among Dutch students” in 2008 stating that 10% of all Dutch children were reading the comic.
Disney has been under ongoing pressure from LGBTQ activist groups in the United States to feature more LGBT characters. Specifically, GLAAD targeted Marvel Studios and the Marvel Cinematic Universe for their lack of representation in a report last May.
The activist organization would state, “There have been several films in recent years that have erased a character’s queer identity as they moved from page to screen. In 2017, Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok and DC’s Wonder Woman both included characters who are queer in their source material, but did not include any on screen confirmation of their identities. This must change going forward.”
The organization gave Walt Disney a “poor” rating.
What do you think about this inclusion of a gay couple in Donald Duck?