CLAIM

Disney announced that the Simba character will be portrayed as gay in the new 'The Lion King' movie.

FALSE

RATING

FALSE

ORIGIN

On 1 April 2017, the web site Pink News published an article reporting that Disney had announced that the Simba character would come out as gay in the live-action (or CGI) remake of The Lion King:

Everyone’s favourite lion Simba will come out as gay in the upcoming live-action remake of The Lion King, Disney has confirmed.

The upcoming reboot of the beloved Disney film will closely follow the plot of the original 1994 movie, with young lion Simba forced to flee after his father Mufasa is murdered by Simba’s evil uncle Scar.

However, following the success of Beauty and the Beast’s gay moment, there will be a key twist to the plot to bring the film up to date with the modern world.

Speaking exclusively to PinkNews, a source close to the production revealed that Simba will be gay in the upcoming remake.

According to the source, Simba realises that he is gay during his teenage years after chancing upon same-sex couple Timon and Pumbaa in the wilderness.

In order to accommodate the new plot, Simba’s childhood friend and eventual girlfriend Nala has been replaced with the male lion Naji.

Although there was considerable hoopla over a “gay moment” in the recent live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, Disney has not made any announcements about the sexual orientation of its animal characters in The Lion King  remake as of this writing. 

The Pink News article is a spoof that was published on April Fool’s Day. In addition to the clue of article’s publication date, Pink News also reported that the new Lion King film would be released on 31 June, a calendar date that does not exist.

Still, many readers were fooled by the article, so Pink News published a second article explaining that the previous “Simba will be gay in upcoming live-action Lion King remake, Disney confirms” story was a hoax:

It is a PinkNews tradition to run an April Fools’ day article, and this year we broke the “news” that Simba would be gay in upcoming live-action Lion King remake.

In the story, we wrote that Simba realises that he is gay during his teenage years after chancing upon same-sex couple Timon and Pumbaa in the wilderness.

In order to accommodate the new plot, Simba’s childhood friend and eventual girlfriend Nala has been replaced with the male lion Naji.

The film was also set to be released on June the 31st.

Despite the obvious signs that the story was a joke for April Fools, #Simba ended up trending on Twitter in the US and hundreds of people tweeted about the story.

This isn’t the first time that controversy has arisen over homosexuality in Disney movies. In 2014, a fake news article asserted that Disney was working on a movie entitled Princes, in which two men would fall in love with one another, and earlier this year the Disney XD show Star vs. The Forces of Evil featured a brief same-sex kiss.

Sources:

Oleksinski, Johnny.   “Please Chill Out About the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Gay Scene.”
    The New York Post.   23 May 2017.

Beresford, Meka.   “It Turns Out Homophobes Couldn’t Handle Simba Being Gay in the Lion King Reboot.”
    Pink News.   1 April 2017.

Rao, Fillop.   “Simba Will Be Gay in Upcoming Live-Action Lion King Remake, Disney Confirms.”
    Pink News.   1 April 2017.