Billy Eichner is opening up about having more gay characters in animated movies.
The 40-year-old actor – who voices Timon in new live-action The Lion King – said in a recent interview that he wants to see more gay characters on screen that aren’t a “mystery.”
“Gay people always had to sort of search for the closeted gay character, because there were no openly gay characters, and we were so thirsty for them,” Billy shared with Buzzfeed. “People are always trying to find the gay character in animated movies. I think the way to correct that is to actually put gay characters in animated movies…One of the last frontiers for LGBT representation is animated family films.”
Billy continued: “There should just be existing openly LGBT characters so that we don’t have to keep arguing about Bert and Ernie. I don’t care if Bert and Ernie are gay. I want to see actual gay people that are not a mystery. The way to move on from all those debates is to just create openly gay characters in children’s programming and family entertainment.”
Billy then went on to set the record straight that Timon and Pumbaa – voiced by Seth Rogen in the new movie – are not a couple.
“Timon and Pumbaa are different species,” Billy shared. “I don’t even think that’s ethically correct, you know, that they would be a couple in some way.”
The Lion King hits theaters on Friday, July 19th.