Disney is becoming increasingly political.
CEO Bob Iger is contemplating a presidential run, so it’s no surprise the company and its subsidiaries are pushing progressive narratives.
ESPN Host Jemele Hill got a pass for calling Donald Trump a white supremacist, and now the Disney Channel is making a progressive move that will frustrate many parents.
It’s no surprise Hollywood pushes a left-wing agenda in its programming.
Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro outlined this in his book “Primetime Propaganda” where he got executives to admit as much on the record.
But now Disney Channel will feature a character who will come out as gay on one of its most popular kids’ shows.
In a first for Disney Channel, a key character on its popular tween series Andi Mack will realize he’s gay and come out to his friends.
The story arc will mark the channel’s first depiction of a coming-out journey. The character – 13-year-old Cyrus Goodman, played by 15-year-old Joshua Rush – will begin his self-discovery in this Friday’s second season one-hour premiere episode.
“Andi Mack is a story about ‘tweens’ figuring out who they are,” said Disney Channel in a statement. “(Creator) 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.”
The Walt Disney Co. released a general statement on stories and characters, which reads, in part, “Disney remains committed to continuing to create characters that are accessible and relatable to all children.”
The coming-of-age series, starring Peyton Elizabeth Lee as the 13-year-old title character, premiered in March, becoming the top series of the year among girls (median age is 10) and #1 in its time period among all children ages six-14. It holds the top series spot on Disney Channel VOD, Disney Channel’s DisneyNOW app and on Disney Channel UK.
The series, launching on Disney Channels around the world through mid-2018, was created by executive producer Minsky (Lizzie McGuire), and follows Andi as she comes to terms with news that Bex, the girl she thought was her older sister, is actually her mother.
With a realism not always evident on tween-focused programs, Andi Mack follows Andi, her family and her two best friends – Cyrus Goodman and Buffy Driscoll (Sofia Wylie) – as they navigate their lives.
The new season finds Andi hoping that her parents Bex (Lilan Bowden) and Bowie (Trent Garrett) will marry, while she also attempts to hash out her feelings for longtime crush Jonah Beck (Asher Angel).
But it’s another storyline that’s breaking Disney Channel ground: Cyrus begins to realize that he too has feelings for Jonah, a development that begins what a source describes as a journey to self-acceptance.
In the season premiere, Cyrus confides his feelings to a supportive Buffy, a scene intended to provide positive role models for children – and adults – watching.
Subsequent episodes will follow Cyrus’ ongoing story, which will include wrestling with how to tell his new girlfriend Iris.
We hear Minsky and Disney Channel, to ensure the story arc is age-appropriate and respectful, consulted with child development experts and was screened to organizations including GLAAD, PFLAG, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, and Common Sense Media.
The groups are effusive in their approval of the storyline.
Parents who believe their kids aren’t ready to deal with themes that trend as more adult shouldn’t have to worry about that on a Disney or Nickelodeon show.
There are plenty of channels that are geared toward more mature kids who can handle complex issues, such as the CW and Disney’s own Freeform.
This is clearly a political move, otherwise activist groups wouldn’t have been consulted.