Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen, who voice Timon and Pumbaa in the live-action The Lion King remake, say although they don’t think and they can’t confirm whether or not their characters are gay, we do need more LGBTQ representation on screen.
Eichner commented that people often assume because the actor is gay, the character they play must be too.
“I mean, I’m gay and Nathan Lane’s gay, so it’s interesting when a straight actor does a role, no one’s like, ‘That character must be straight.’ But because it’s Nathan and me they’re like, ‘Oh, Timon must be gay.’ Which is not to say he’s not gay. You’ll have to ask the writers. It’s not specified in the script,” he commented.
“It would be cool to see more openly LGBT characters in family entertainment and animated films,” he said, “so we don’t have to have annoying discussions about whether Bert and Ernie are gay or not.”
“Hopefully moving forward there will be openly gay characters in these types of movies.”
In an interview with Buzzfeed News, Eichner said we always have to look for the “closeted gay character” in films when we should in fact be more open, honest and inclusive of everyone.
“One of the last frontiers for LGBT representation is animated family films. Didn’t some rat just get married on something? Arthur or something like that?” he asked. “Well, that really opened the door to more gay rats getting married, which I really appreciate.”