According to Business Insider, “Frozen” songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez say there’s no such thing as a Disney-imposed ban on the use of religious expressions like the word “God.”
Earlier in the week, part of an April 10 NPR interview with the husband-and-wife duo was widely quoted in which Anderson-Lopez said, “One of the only places you have to draw the line at Disney is with religious things, the word ‘God.’ ”
Lopez then clarified, saying that “you can say (‘God’) in Disney but you can't put it in the movie.”
The notion that certain religious words are being excised from Disney movies prompted some strong reactions across the Internet.
Business Insider, however, caught up with the couple at a gala event for Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People,” where they were being honored, and asked about the so-called ban.
Anderson-Lopez said their comments were “completely misconstrued.” They were referring to just “one instance,” she said — a line from the song “Let It Go” that originally read, “Couldn't keep it in, God knows I tried.”
"That's what we were going to do and our collaborators felt that could be construed as using the Lord's name in vain, so we didn't put it in the movie.”
Instead, they opted for something only slightly (if at all) less religious: “Heaven knows I tried.”
In other words, the decision to avoid using the word ‘God’ was not prompted so much by a move towards political correctness or increased secularization on Disney's part as it was sensitivity to its religious audience members.
Just to set the record straight, though, Anderson-Lopez reiterated: “Disney does not have a policy of not using the word ‘God’ at all.”
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Which makes a lot of sense if you look back on the company’s animated features over the years, which include plenty of references to “gods” and “goddesses” (“Hercules”) as well as “God” in an explicitly Christian context (“The Hunchback of Notre Dame”).
If there were a ban, Disney hasn’t done a very good job of enforcing it.
Jeff Peterson is a native of Utah Valley and studied humanities and history at Brigham Young University. Along with the Deseret News, he also contributes to the film discussion website TheMovieScrutineer.com.