Disney is releasing a groundbreaking storyline in a children’s TV series, and not everyone is happy about it.
Andi Mack is a coming of age cable show featuring a group of pre-teens. Mack (Peyton Elizabeth Lee), 13, has a longtime crush on close friend Jonah Beck (Asher Angel). But, the plot is about to take a serious twist this season, when it’s revealed that Mack’s best friend Cyrus Goodman (Joshua Rush) also has a crush on Jonah.
Two friends vying for the same guy is hardly a new phenomenon, but the fact that one is female and the other is male is cause for controversy.
“Andi Mack is a story about ‘tweens’ figuring out who they are; Terri Minsky, the cast and everyone involved in the show takes great care in ensuring that it’s appropriate for all audiences and sends a powerful message about inclusion and respect for humanity,” a Disney Channel spokesperson said in a statement.
Cyrus finds understanding and support in friend Buffy (Sofia Wylie) and it’s in this relationship that Disney hopes to spark the conversation and tolerance for gay and lesbian people.
The Walt Disney company also released a statement about Andy Mack:
“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…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.
While Disney has dabbled in “gaydom” before, this is a first for main characters and a running storyline. News of the plot sparked both outrage and frustration for parents who feel the push for gay acceptance is being forced down society’s throat.
Is it all too much, too soon?
The latest report from Gallup claims 10 million Americans identify as LGBT – putting the LGBT demographic at 4 percent of the population, the Daily Beast reported.
With those numbers in mind, it’s understandable why many parents feel they’re being forced to have conversations their children might not be ready to have.
More than a little pushback was inevitable:
Disney now has a gay cartoon character? WOW. They really are trying hard these days to push their agendas. Involving kids is sick.
— CHIZ 🇺🇸 (@CHIZMAGA) October 26, 2017
Disney Channel is making history today by introducing a gay storyline for the first time in its show #AndiMack. The average viewer is 10.
— Leanne Manas (@LeanneManas) October 27, 2017
On the other end of the spectrum, Disney’s new gay character is being celebrated. Although, sometimes it’s hard to tell if it’s for the cause of gay acceptance or if it’s because it’s upsetting many conservatives:
— Yolanda (@LadyMockingjay) October 25, 2017
#AndiMack having a tween coming to terms with his sexuality on DISNEY CHANNEL makes me so proud. This is going to save so many lives.
— Marshal Knight (@Marshal_Knight) October 25, 2017
“Save so many lives”? The drama doesn’t end there:
I just can’t get over how exciting and moving and progressive and powerful this is going to be. Proud to be a Disney fan today.
— Marshal FRIGHT (@Marshal_Knight) October 25, 2017
That sentiment isn’t shared by everyone. Many parents are going to take a “hard pass” getting their children’s moral cues from Hollywood (or Disney) plot lines.
Andi Mack’s season 2 premiere airs tonight, Oct 27 at 8pm on the Disney Channel.
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