First, fans wanted to see Elsa get a girlfriend in the “Frozen” sequel, which prompted tweets with the hashtag ##GiveElsaAGirlfriend. Now, some fans are demanding Captain America find love with a boyfriend for the next superhero film in the Marvel franchise with the hashtag #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend.
While social media has given a voice to fans, some experts say campaigns like this encroach on the creative process.
“I am all for more representations of diverse couples in the media. However, stories should be developed from an organic place,” said Christian Beranek writer of Validation Comic. “Changing the sexual orientations of a character to appease a group or cash in on current hot topics is actually a disservice to [the audience].”
Beranek said it’s the writers that should be coming up with these plot lines, not the fans.
“Corporations should rather hire more writers from different backgrounds and allow them to use their life experiences to provide unique voices in popular media,” he said.
Plus, it is important characters remain authentic, according to branding and marketing expert Scott Pinsker.
“If a character’s sexual orientation, religious affiliation or political sensibilities is part of his or her natural character development, then that’s perfectly fine. Suddenly switching Steve Rogers’ sexual orientation after 75-plus years, because #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend is trending on Twitter in 2016, seems desperate and cheap – and at odds with Rogers’ unrequited affection for Agent Peggy Cater, I might add,” Pinsker told us.
But TV and film producer Geoff Skinner said such fandom is what powers these films to become mega blockbusters.“It’s an [intellectual property] owner’s dream come true when a fan base is so passionate about something that they want to be involved and help shape the direction the IP takes," he told us. "Successful campaigns or not, it proves that fictional characters have made their mark on our culture.”
Jessica Salerno, the creator of the #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend, believes criticism of the campaign is misplaced.
“I'm not really sure if Hollywood will listen to the fans,” she told us. “I really hope they do. There is still such a huge amount of people against the LGBT community, and the amount of backlash from #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend shows that.”
Salerno believes Hollywood has the power to make a difference in how the world views the LGBT community.
“Hollywood needs to take these steps because it normalizes something that a lot of the world still shies away from,” she said. “This could show kids that they don't have to be scared. No matter what they choose to be, they can still be a hero.”
Megan Townsend, GLAAD's entertainment media strategist, spoke out on Wednesday in favor of the Captain America campaign, telling the Associated Press there's "room for established characters to have backstories built out that we weren't aware of."
"It's getting increasingly difficult to ignore that LGBT people remain almost completely shut out of Hollywood's big budget comic films that have dominated the box office over the past couple of years," she told the AP.
Alexis Isabel Moncada first tweeted the hashtag suggesting that “Frozen’s” Elsa should have a girlfriend. The 17-year-old student said the idea came to her “in the spur of the moment” but she believes it fits well with the character’s message.
#GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend— ㅤㅤjade (@junglehazza) May 24, 2016
I see people thinking that this is a bad idea, but apparently him dating his dead girlfriend's niece is fine
"Let's take a classically male icon and make him gay (or a woman)." Zero creativity, total parasitic losers. #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) May 24, 2016
“[I] thought given [Elsa’s] message about self-acceptance, her being a gay character sort of made sense,” Moncada told us.
Moncada’s original tweet on April 30 was retweeted about 2,300 times, but the hashtag quickly spread and was noticed by news outlets.
While many tweeted in support of the movement, others objected to it.
Will Moncada’s idea come to fruition? It seems she has the support of at least one very important person: Idina Menzel, who voices Elsa.
Menzel said month: “I think it’s great. Disney’s just gotta contend with that. I’ll let them figure it out.”
Fox News.com Reporter and FOX411 host Diana Falzone covers celebrity news and interviews some of today's top celebrities and newsmakers. You can follow her on Twitter @dianafalzone.