LOS ANGELES (AP) — A hug. A wink. A dance. A non-answer. These are the so-called gay moments in a handful of recent high-profile studio movies that have sparked both rapturous celebration and startling backlash.
From Sulu in "Star Trek Beyond" to LeFou in "Beauty and the Beast" and now Trini in "Power Rangers," the latest Hollywood fascination is the subtle nod that a once straight or undefined character is now or has always been gay.
But it's often so subtle that if it wasn't first discussed by filmmakers or actors, it's a wonder whether anyone would notice at all. Sulu can be seen hugging a man. LeFou winks at Gaston and later dances with a man. And Trini fails to answer a flirty question about whether she's having "boyfriend problems"... or "girlfriend problems?"
What are we to make of these "blink and you'll miss them" moments in a year when "Moonlight," with its explicit exploration of gay themes, can rise to become the best picture winner at the Academy Awards? Is this progress? For some, it is. For others, it's too much acclaim for too little action.