Disney is revamping “The Proud Family,” a 20-year-old cartoon sitcom about an African American family, and will be featuring a cast that includes two interracial gay dads whose adopted daughter is a teenage racial activist.
Actors Zachary Quinto and Billy Porter, both of whom are gay, will be playing Barry Leibowitz-Jenkins and Randall Leibowitz-Jenkins, respectively, according to Entertainment Weekly (EW). The two are a couple and mixed-race adoptive parents to Maya Leibowitz-Jenkins, a 14-year-old black activist voiced by Keke Palmer.
New crew coming through to #TheProudFamily: #LouderAndProuder! Meet Maya’s parents, Barry & Randall Leibowitz-Jenkins, voiced by @ZacharyQuinto & @TheeBillyPorter. Plus, Penny’s best guy friend Michael Collins, voiced by EJ Johnson. Original Series coming soon to #DisneyPlus. pic.twitter.com/6EUKuwR9Rt
— Disney+ (@disneyplus) May 12, 2021
Titled “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder,” the upcoming series will also bring back the main characters from the original show, which first premiered in 2001 on the Disney Channel and ran until 2005. As EW reported, “The entire original voice cast will be back, with Kyla Pratt (One on One) as protagonist Penny Proud, Tommy Davidson (In Living Color) as inventive patriarch Oscar Proud, Paula Jai Parker (Friday) as loving mom Trudy Proud, Jo Marie Payton (Family Matters) as Suga Mama, and Cedric the Entertainer as musical Uncle Bobby Proud.”
Penny’s best male friend, Michael Collins, was effeminate in the original series and has since been updated as “a non-conforming trendsetter, serving fierce looks at school and on the basketball court.”
Disney, which has recently been aiming to prevent children from watching classic films such as “Fantasia,” “Peter Pan,” and “Dumbo,” on their streaming service, was extolled last summer for revealing that their witchcraft series “The Owl House,” is the first to feature a lead character who is bisexual.
Disney is not the only company pushing LGBT issues on children. Nickelodeon, which is owned by Viacom, has lately been promoting transgender behavior to their young viewers. As The Daily Wire reported April 2:
Nickelodeon star Michael D. Cohen issued a message to children earlier this week urging them to celebrate friends who exhibit transgender behavior.
“It’s really important to celebrate International Trans Day of Visibility,” Cohen told young viewers Wednesday. “Because the more the world understands, is aware of, and supports people of trans experience, the more empowered this community will be to have our rights and to have what we deserve and to be equal like everybody else.”
“I’m proud to be a part of the trans community because we are united by a common pursuit of our own personal truth,” continued Cohen, who played a character named Schwoz in the show “Henry Danger,” which aired from 2014 to 2020. “There are most likely people of trans experience in your school, your community, friends, family. You can support them by standing up against bullying, cheering them on as they express themselves.”
“Be true to yourself as you are,” Cohen concluded. “You’re really important. Don’t compromise. And believe in your dreams. Know that you have people like myself and other people in this community that are behind you, that support you, and believe in you.”