Disney has invited drag queen Nina West to the Los Angeles premiere of the children’s movie “The Little Mermaid.”
The drag queen, whose real name is Andrew Levitt, has become a staple of Disney’s children’s programming.
The 44-year-old drag performer rose to fame after competing on Ru Paul’s Drag Race.
On Monday, Levitt walked the blue carpet at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood with actress Melissa McCarthy, who plays Ursula the Sea Witch.
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In a post to Instagram with video from the red carpet, Levitt wrote, “Thank you, @disney @disneystudios @disneyanimation @disneylittlemermaid for having me tonight and allowing me to share in such a magical celebration.”
Levitt wore an over-the-top costume inspired by Ursula. McCarthy has said that she took inspiration from drag queens for the villain’s character.
“There’s a drag queen that lives in me,” McCarthy previously told Entertainment Weekly. “I’m always right on the verge of going full-time with her… To keep the humor and the sadness and the edginess to Ursula is everything I want in a character — and frankly, everything I want in a drag queen.”
“I’m a huge, huge fan of drag shows and the whole art of it and the entertainment of it,” McCarthy said, noting that she has “been going to shows since I was not supposed to be going to shows.”
Levitt previously hosted a Disney+ LGBTQ Pride concert in 2021 as “Nina West,” during which classic Disney songs were “reimagined” with LGBTQ themes.
Levitt has also authored a children’s book titled The You Kind of Kind and starred in a video for Nickelodeon explaining “the meaning of Pride” for kids.
Disney has been increasingly including LGBTQ themes in their content.
Disneyland will also be hosting its first-ever “Pride Night” to celebrate the “LGBTQIA+ community and allies” in June to honor Pride Month.
“This after-hours event includes themed entertainment, Disney characters, one-of-a-kind photo opportunities, specialty menu items, event merchandise and more! It begins with a three-hour pre-party mix-in from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. PT, then the private party runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. PT, when guests can ride some popular attractions after regular park hours,” Disney Parks announced in a blog post. “A theme park reservation is not required.”
The event will be open to all ages and feature a “Pride Nite Cavalcade featuring Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Clarabelle, Donald, Daisy and Goofy dressed in special attire as they make their way through the heart of Disneyland park down Main Street, U.S.A.!”
Additionally, characters will be dressed in “special attire,” and there will be photo opportunities with “pride-themed backdrops.”
The Little Mermaid opens in theaters on May 26, 2023.