Pop Culture

Wingnuts Condemn ‘Lego Batman’ as Pro-Gay Propaganda, and Now I Want to See It Even More

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I have not yet seen Lego Batman, but that is only because I haven’t been able to line up a sitter. That movie was already at the top of my to-see list, but now it’s really up there, because an Internet wingnut is condemning Lego Batman as “pro-gay propaganda.”

According to The Mary Sue, a guy named John-Henry Watson founded a site called Voice of the Family, which is a pro-life, anti-LGBT site that has taken to deep-thinking children’s movies for signs of progressive propaganda, and boy, did he ever find it in Lego Batman.

Now, the thing is, there’s not really any pro-gay propaganda in Lego Batman, much to my personal disappointment. If Watson had been reviewing Avatar: Legend of Korra or Steven Universe, he might have a point. (As an aside, both of those shows are amazing and you should watch them and bring the kids. Steven Universe might get a whole article on its own in the near future for its gender-norm-subverting wonderfulness.) But there are no obvious LGBTQ characters in Lego Batman and no actual same-sex romantic relationships. Still, Watson is seeing sneaky gay propaganda behind every brightly colored brick.

“It was chock full of pro-gay propaganda,” Watson wrote of the Lego Batman movie. “Think the sexual innuendo of the Flintstones minus the real humor. It seemed the creators were so anxious to subtly indoctrinate the little ones into the gender ideology that making it humorous came as a distant second thought.”

Apparently the cause of all this drama is that in the movie Robin–Dick Grayson–is adopted by Bruce Wayne/Batman. We all know that Bruce Wayne is Batman–if you didn’t, uh, sorry for the spoilers–but Dick does not. Because Dick does not know that Bruce Wayne and Batman are the same person, he thinks he has been adopted by Bruce Wayne *and* Batman, and thus he thinks he has two dads. John-Henry Watson’s problem with the movie is that Grayson thinks he has two dads and does not suddenly collapse in on himself in a pile of drug use, gay panic, and depression. He’s stoked. Yesterday he had no dads, today he has two. (And the fact that one is a billionaire and the other is Batman would thrill anybody. Really, I’m a 30-something woman with living parents, and if Beyonce and Melinda Gates wanted to adopt me, I would be OK with that.)

Watson sees this as a subversive attempt to turn innocent children into people who don’t think homosexuality is anathema, but Lego Batman is pretty cool about this. The joke isn’t mocking gay dads or the idea of same-sex parents. It’s a funny bit of dramatic irony based around the idea that Dick Grayson doesn’t know that Bruce Wayne is Batman, but at no point does anybody question the idea of a kid having two dads as being impossible or weird or wrong. It’s just treated as something that’s completely normal and reasonable, and yeah, that’s pretty progressive.