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Joel Kim Booster Isn't Thrilled About Fire Island's Ties to Disney

Joel Kim Booster Isn't Thrilled About 'Fire Island's Ties to Disney

Joel Kim Booster Isn't Thrilled About 'Fire Island's Ties to Disney

The film is headed to Hulu, under a Disney-owned studio.


With Fire Island on the horizon, writer and star Joel Kim Booster recently spoke out about how it feels to have an LGBTQ+ rom-com coming out under the Disney umbrella.

“It’s something that weighs on me really heavily, the responsibility of making, first off, a good and honest movie and something that felt authentic and real to the gay experience, and then to know that it’s being produced through many pipelines to Disney,” he told Entertainment Weekly.

Fire Island was originally conceived as a Quibi series, and will put a modern and LGBTQ+ spin on Pride and Prejudice. As the title suggests, it follows a group of friends heading out to notorious queer haven Fire Island for summer vacation.

After Quibi’s demise, the series was reimagined as a feature film and bunted over to Hulu, under the Searchlight Pictures banner. Like so many companies, Searchlight is owned by Disney, which also has a majority stake in Hulu.

In the wake of both Disney’s failure to oppose Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill before it passed and CEO Bob Chapek’s clumsy statements surrounding that, the company has been embroiled in controversy. All eyes have been on Disney’s every move to see if their alleged new commitment to inclusivity is more than just lip service, but after being burned and left out so many times, many LGBTQ+ people are still wary of the company.

“I don’t have a great answer to it,” Booster said. “We live in a society and we have to make concessions in order to get things done. For me, I’m so grateful that this movie is going to be seen by so many people and, in that way, hopefully it will help queer kids who see themselves in these characters to feel good and affirmed.

“I don’t really know what else to say. It’s not a great answer. I’m sort of waffling here, but it’s tough. It’s not something I’m happy about. I’ll say that.”

With opportunities to get queer content by queer creators actually produced and distributed still fairly limited, making Booster answer for Disney’s sins seems shortsighted and unproductive. We’re getting a new queer romcom. And if it ultimately benefits a company that clearly hasn’t valued the queer dollar over the years as much as they should have, maybe they’ll learn what a mistake that has been.

Here's every detail we know about Fire Island, which drops on Hulu on June 3rd. Watch the trailer below:

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