Kate McKinnon Gives Us the Gay Elsa of Our Dreams on Saturday Night Live
"The lack of any romantic interest doesn't bother me anyway!"
Last night on Saturday Night Live, Kate McKinnon made our queer dreams come true by giving us a live-action totally gay Elsa from Frozen 2. The sketch, a commercial for the DVD release of Frozen 2 with deleted scenes, starts with McKinnon’s Disney princess unable to stop saying “I’m gay”. She’s joined by Cecily Strong’s Anna, who assures her via song that “we all know”, and cites Elsa’s preference for dressing up as Brienne of Tarth on 3 separate Halloweens as evidence.
Elsa’s queerness (or lack thereof) has been a hot topic since the first film came out in 2013. As the first Disney princess without a prince or any romantic love interest, the internet went wild speculating on Elsa’s sexuality. After all, aren’t her secret snow powers just a metaphor for being in the closet?
McKinnon sums it up by saying to Anna, “You have a fulfilling heterosexual marriage by the age of 18 and I’ve just spent two whole movies playing with snow, both are equal and good. And then in Frozen 3 I can just freeze my eggs.” To the tune of “let It Go”, Strong’s Anna assures her sister, “I don’t care what Disney says, the Twitter storm rages on!” while McKinnon follows up, “The lack of any romantic interest doesn’t bother me anyway!”
Beck Bennett’s confused narrator pops in via voice-over at the end of their duet to wonder if Elsa being gay will turn his own son gay, mocking conservative talking points about queer representation. While I could watch a whole skit about Elsa’s queerness, the sketch continues, adding host (and sportsball player) J.J. Watt as Kristoff, who sings the song “Big and Woke”. As Disney’s non-threatening new prince, he promises he won’t ever kiss Anna while she’s asleep.
We also meet Kenan Thompson’s Mattias, who assures the princesses that he is “not shoehorned in any way” in as some much needed diversity in the Frozen world. The cast sings “how do you solve a problem like Mattias”, with Kenan joking that his inclusion makes “a real rainbow of colors now”. The voice-over’s “problem solved!” is a solid button on the gag.
Unfortunately, the sketch ends with Mikey Day’s Olaf, who is going through puberty and now has a carrot over his crotch. It’s a hacky dick joke that doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the sketch, and is capped with an awkward gay joke about Sven the reindeer. It’s a bummer ending to a sketch that started so strong. SNL’s attempt to skewer both woke and conservative Frozen 2 fans ends up falling back on tired gay panic jokes in a weak attempt at both-sidesism.
I wish that the skit had centered on Elsa’s queerness, much like the Themyscira sketch did when Gal Gadot hosted. Still, this is probably the closest we’ll ever get to an actual gay Elsa. But would I watch an entire film of gay Elsa as played by McKinnon? Oh absolutely.
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