Reading between the lines of a trailer is a favorite pastime on the internet; some people just love trying to figure out the twists and turns of an upcoming movie. And while Pixar’s Finding Dory — the sequel to Finding Nemo, out June 17 — might not seem like an obvious candidate for dissection, eagle-eyed fans locked in on a quick shot in the latest trailer that seemed to signal a potential new frontier for the animation studio: featuring a lesbian couple onscreen.
The scene in question sees two women being surprised by an unexpected octopus appearance while standing next to a baby stroller. "Does Finding Dory Depict Pixar’s First Lesbian Couple?" USA Today asked, while the Cut wondered if fans who’ve been campaigning for Frozen's Elsa to be Pixar’s first gay character had been beaten to the punch.
Naturally, the question came up again when Finding Dory’s cast and creative team appeared at a press conference for the film on June 9. When asked whether they had included a gay couple, the answer was basically, "Not on purpose, but sure!"
Finding Dory writer and co-director Andrew Stanton and producer Lindsey Collins were amused by the traction the fleeting shot in the trailer amassed, as the women weren't specifically intended to be either gay or straight. "We don’t know [if they're gay]," Stanton said. "We didn't ask them!"
Later, star Ellen DeGeneres said the ensuing speculation made her look harder for the corresponding scene while watching the movie at the premiere. And when she saw it, she explained with a self-aware grin and faux indignation, she was "offended" that people assumed the women were gay just because one of them had a "short, bad haircut."
While some moviegoers might be disappointed to learn that Finding Dory doesn't go out of its way to explicitly depict a gay couple, maybe the wave of support for the mere possibility of showing gay women onscreen will encourage someone at the top of the food chain to make it a conscious decision next time.