A very significant part of the public is increasingly demanding greater and better representation in animated series and movies. Originally, Katie Mitchell It was not necessarily going to be LGTBI, but the creators of ‘The Mitchells against the machines’ managed to convince the studio that it should be with a very emotional letter.
Inspirations for Katie were always LGTBI
Today ‘The Mitchells vs. the Machines’ can boast of being one of the favorites in the race for the animation Oscar, in addition to having achieved a perfect sweep at the Annie Awards. As a result of the pandemic, Sony ended up selling its animated film to Netflixwhere it premiered last year and quickly became a viral hit and one of the best releases of 2021.
‘The Mitchells vs. the Machines’ is a joyful film about a dysfunctional family that ends up saving the world in a somewhat uneventful way, and that has won the affection of critics and the public alike for its innovative animation style and its characteristic humor. Not only that, its protagonist Katie Mitchell has also become an example of LGTBI representation well managedsince the film makes it clear to you that it is not heterosexual in a very natural way without it influencing its plot.
As explained Lizzie Nicholsan LGTBI entertainer who worked on the development of the project, realized from the first moment that “Katie seemed a little queer to me.”
“I don’t think he told anyone,” Nichols explained. “It was pretty sad in a way… I just accepted that it couldn’t happen, so I’d just keep it in my head and think Katie was queer.”
Unbeknownst to Nichols or anyone else in the studio, that was precisely what Directors Michael Rianda, Jeff Rowe and other creatives were doing. They were designing Katie by taking inspiration from people they knew, and creating her in a way that she was LGBTI.
“I noticed that all the people I was basing Katie on were queer, and it got to the point where people working on the film started asking ‘Is Katie gay?’… But I didn’t know if she was. we would be allowed,” Rianda explained.
Representation well run and with the support of the studio
From the first teasers, Katie could be seen wearing a pin with a rainbow, a fairly common symbol among the LGTBI community, and it is also mentioned that she has a relationship with another girl. Sony creatives weren’t too sure the execs would let them include all these details openly, so eventually Nichols and other LGBTQ artists at the studio wrote letters to Sony explaining why it was important for Katie to be queer.
Rianda has shared Nichols’s full letter from her Twitter account, as it was one of the decisive writings that convinced Sony executives.
“We don’t want to be silenced by the fear of a few bigots. We don’t want to conform to their point of view. We have to be on the side of what is fair and correct, we just need the guts to do it. Be that guts, “says Nichols in his letter.
#TheMitchellsVsTheMachines was a big studio animated film made by 1st timers.
So when we pushed to make our main character queer, some people got VERY nervous.
But a badass LGBTQ+ artist- Lizzie Nichols wrote Este letter that made me SOB + will stay with me forever.
— Michael Rianda (@michaelrianda) January 20, 2022
The director explained how he met with Sony executives, who were mostly in favor. Rianda also explained how there was some concern about how she could establish this inclusivity in certain countries, but that there were few hitches and by the end of the meeting she had confirmed that Katie was queer.
“Sony really stepped up and didn’t flinch, because you really can’t do this in every studio,” Rianda said.
almost at the same time as Insider spoke with the creatives of ‘The Mitchells vs. the Machines’ about LGTBI representation in his film, Pixar employees have denounced that Disney censors this type of content in its productions.
“I want to remind people of the stakes,” Nichols said of her letter and her decision to support portrayal in the film. “We need to take the narrative one step further. I used my name in the letter, I wanted the people in charge to have a face: we are not just a shapeless mass of queer people in the world, we are real.”