Ellen DeGeneres has shattered Hollywood's gay glass ceiling.
The out lead voice actor of Finding Dory helped the film ride another wave of box-office success. In its second weekend, the Disney/Pixar production surpassed estimates to pool $73.2 million, reports ABC News, beating Independence Day: Resurgence's opening-weekend take of $41.6 million in the U.S. market.
Internationally, the film has been a financial triumph since its June 17 release. Box Office Mojo estimates its worldwide gross to date is almost $400 million.
In the film, DeGeneres reprises her role of Dory, a forgetful fish first seen in the hit 2003 animated film Finding Nemo. The sequel reunites many of the favorite characters from the initial under-the-sea adventure, including Nemo, Crush, and Marlin, who help Dory in her quest to find her parents
Although DeGeneres is a lesbian, Disney has a failing grade with the LGBT organziation GLAAD, as its films have no representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender characters.
In response, users on social media have created hashtags such as #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend and #GiveElseAGirlfriend to advocate for inclusion in the company's popular superhero and princess franchises.
Noah Galvin, an out actor on The Real O'Neals, which airs on the Disney-owned ABC network, recently spoke out against anti-LGBT discrimination in the industry. In a frank interview with Vulture that occasionally used vulgar language to describe closeted actors, he recounted how a producer said he was "too gay" for a role after an audition.
Reports say ABC executives screamed at the actor following the article's publication earlier this month; Galvin issued an apology for the entirety of his remarks on Twitter later that day. Gay activist Dan Savage, an executive producer of the show whose early life inspired its storyline, has no comment on the controversy.