This week, Disney+ pulled Love, Victor (the spin-off TV show from queer love story Love, Simon) from its platform, choosing instead to stream the series on Hulu (another Disney-owned platform) because it wasn’t “family-friendly”.
When pressed further as to why, Disney claimed it’s “adult themes” such as alcohol use and sexual exploration. However, on a platform that streams 10 Things I Hate About You (which has drug references and is far more sexually suggestive) and The Simpsons, an animated series which doesn’t shy away from its protagonist’s excessive booze consumption – it doesn’t feel quite genuine.
Not to mention that most children across the world have seen their parents with a glass of wine in their hand, if not full-blown slaughtered.
Hilary Duff later commented on the news saying it “sounds familiar”, insinuating it was similar reasons as to why the Lizzie Maguire reboot was stalled in January (it was announced in October the reboot would have an openly gay character as one of the leads).
Well, yes, it sounds familiar to us too. Back in 2015, when Disneyland told me to change my outfit ’cause it was a “family park”, it was a double-standard then too; a gay man’s legs are somehow deemed “adult” or inappropriate, while Tinkerbell’s dress was far, far shorter.
Disney are clearly very keen to push their “family-friendly” agenda, but do they even know what that is anymore? It feels as if they make the rules up as they go along but when it comes to LGBTQ storylines they’d rather air on the side of caution and cry ‘what about the children?’ albeit in more of a whisper than a cry.
While Disney are far from homophobic – they have allowed storylines on Alex Mack which involves a student coming out and two openly gay characters in the High School Musical series – they’re at the very least, problematic when it comes to LGBTQ representation by allowing inconsistencies than often suggest our lives are not appropriate for children.