The 2014 horror film The Babadook doesn't explore the sexuality of its title character, but on the internet, the dapper demon has grown into a queer icon. Now, Entertainment Weekly reports that Shout! Factory is releasing a limited-edition Blu-ray with a rainbow flag cover in honor of Pride Month.
It took a couple of years for the Babadook to rise to superstar status in the LGBT community. In 2016, Tumblr user Ianstagram posted the tongue-in-cheek assertion that the Babadook is gay in the film. A separate viral Tumblr post shared around the same time showed a screen-grab of Netflix recommending The Babadook under the label LGBT movies, with the caption "So proud that Netflix recognizes the Babadook as gay representation." Gay Babadook quickly exploded into a meme.
Today, the queer version of the top hat-wearing monster can be spotted outside social media. Rainbow Babadook flags and signs are now common sights at Pride festivals, and the character has even appeared on T-shirts.
Shout! Factory is the latest brand to take advantage of the trend. In partnership with IFC, the entertainment company has designed a limited-edition Pride Month-themed slipcover to be sold with existing Blu-rays of the movie. The cover features the Babadook's black silhouette over a rainbow flag. The product description reads: "Thanks to the unpredictable world of social media, viral videos and passionate fans, The Babadook became an unexpected and embraced LGBTQ mascot in 2017 and even carried over into last year as well. This year, we fling the closet doors open even further to cement his status."
You can buy one of the 2500 special Blu-rays online from Shout! Factory for $20 while supplies last.
[h/t Entertainment Weekly]