Disney Channel Show Receives Backlash for Coming Out Story

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Disney Channel’s television series, “Andi Mack,” will be making history with its first coming out story, but one organization isn’t cheering the network on.

The series, which premiered this past March, follows Andi and her two best friends — Cyrus Goodman and Buffy Driscoll — as they try to navigate the tween years and help Andi with the discovery that the woman she’s known as her older sister her entire life is actually her mom.

However, in last Friday’s second season premiere episode, all eyes were on Cyrus (Joshua Rush), as he revealed that he’s crushing on the same boy as his friend Andi, something a Disney Channel character has never done before.

Although many were quick to praise Disney for having such a progressive narrative, One Million Moms had a different opinion.  

The group launched a petition that calls for individuals to boycott the network for their lack of “family-friendly” content.

“I do not agree with the adult content you are pushing on families and children in programs such as ‘Andi Mack,’” reads the petition. “Please cancel this controversial series immediately. You will not have my support as long as you continue to veer away from family-friendly entertainment.”

This is not the first time the group, who prides themselves in stopping the exploitation of children by the entertainment media, has been vocal about Disney’s content. Earlier this year the group called for a boycott of the Disney Junior show Doc McStuffins for featuring a lesbian couple, played by Wanda Sykes and Portia de Ross.

Despite the criticism, the show’s episode garnered 1.62 million viewers and quickly caught the attention of many, including the media advocacy group GLAAD.

“With more and more young people coming out as LGBTQ, Andi Mack is reflecting the lives and lived experiences of so many LGBTQ youth around the country,” the organization’s president and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis, said in a statement. “Television reflects the real life world and today that includes LGBTQ youth who deserve to see their lives depicted on their favorite shows. Disney has been a leader in LGBTQ inclusion and there are so many young people who will be excited to see Cyrus’ story unfold.”

Disney shows and films are moving in the direction of having more LGBT storylines and characters — this year the first same sex kiss was featured on Disney XD’s “Star vs.the Forces of Evil” and the box office hit “Beauty and the Beast” had an openly gay LeFou — and it appears that the network is standing by their decisions.

“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,” The Walt Disney Company released in a statement regarding the show “Andi Mack.” “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.”

 


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