It was only a matter of time until the first gay character on Disney’s Andi Mack was on One Million Moms’ radar. The anti-gay group, who famously boycotts everything, has already launched protests against Disney, most recently against Beauty and the Beast live-aciton film that included a gay character.
The organization wrote:
Alerting all parents! Additional controversial content will be included in the Disney Channel show “Andi Mack” during season two, premiering Friday, October 27, at 8:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. CT. 1MM earlier warned parents this program is not suitable for a kids’ network, and now the show is introducing the network’s first gay character.
In a first for the Disney Channel, the show “Andi Mack” will spend an hour focusing on one of the main characters coming out as gay. Young teen Cyrus Goodman is a key member in the program’s cast. During the season two premiere, he’ll make Disney Channel history as he grapples with his feelings for another boy. And in subsequent episodes, he’ll work these feelings out along with having a new girlfriend.
According to an article in TV Line, Disney Channel’s upcoming series “Andi Mack” will be Disney Channel’s “most adult show yet.” This season’s premiere episode was also screened in advance for organizations like Common Sense Media, GLAAD, and PFLAG. Disney Channel claims the aim was to craft a story that maintains its signature brand of age-appropriate storytelling while building a narrative of inclusion and kindness.
The Walt Disney company also released a statement regarding “Andi Mack‘s” stories and characters, writing, “The Disney brand has always been inclusive, with stories that reflect acceptance and tolerance and celebrate the differences that make our characters uniquely wonderful in their own way. We constantly strive to live up to that legacy by continuing to create and share compelling storylines from our studios and media networks that entertain with inspirational and aspirational themes and reflect the incredibly rich diversity of the human experience. Our stories are timeless because they speak to the heart; our characters appeal to children across gender, ability, and experience because they’re defined by kindness, loyalty, humor, courage, wit, and other traits that make a good friend. Disney remains committed to continuing to create characters that are accessible and related to all children.”
One might question why Disney Channel feels the need to pursue such programming. Minsky states, “[The network] asked me for something different. They wanted to attract an older audience.”
Why? What is wrong with having family-friendly content that is acceptable for all ages or even leaving a couple of networks solely for children’s entertainment? Disney Channel is gradually becoming another Freeform Network. As one of only a few channels catering to children, it cannot possibly be that Disney Channel has a financial need for more adult viewers.
By choosing to abandon family-friendly entertainment, Disney’s inexplicable choice to move toward more “adult” fare may ultimately prove to be a huge mistake.
Disney’s first gay kiss aired earlier this year on Disney XD’s animated series “Star vs. the Forces of Evil.” The scene took place at a concert where the band played a romantic tune that inspired many couples in the audience to kiss; a few of those couples — none of which involved a main character — were same sex.
The Disney Channel is deliberately choosing to “move forward” and promote adult content to children. By choosing to move in the direction of more “adult” stories and content, the Disney Channel – and the entire Disney media empire – may be choosing to sacrifice something far more precious… children’s innocence.