A new wide-ranging Entertainment Insider report is shedding light on the increase in LGBTQ characters and themes in children’s programming.
As the Daily Wire has reported, there has been an explosion of gay content in entertainment for kids in recent years, including specialty transgender Pride parades and concerts on Nick Jr. and Disney Jr., as well as an increasing number of LGBTQ characters.
The Insider piece, titled, “Animation’s queer women, trans, and nonbinary creatives are pushing gender boundaries in kid’s cartoons their counterparts couldn’t — or wouldn’t dare,” illustrates how these changes aren’t the result of organic story developments. Instead, it highlights how gay activists behind the scenes have been pushing for more LGBTQ messages in children’s programming.
“The rise of gender-diverse representation isn’t a coincidence,” the article notes. “Shows created and run by queer women, trans, and nonbinary showrunners are largely responsible for the influx of nonbinary and trans characters in kids’ animation.”
Among the executives the story highlights is “Doc McStuffins” creator, Chris Nee, who Insider says is known as the “Ryan Murphy of children’s television.” Murphy made his mark on the television landscape introducing explicit gay material to primetime mainstream programming through shows like Fox’s “Glee” and F/X’s “American Horror Story.” Insider says Nee has done the same with her time at Disney Jr. McStuffins, in particular, broke ground when the show, which is designed for children between the ages of two and five, featured lesbian dolls.
Part of the way the story says activists have accomplished this is by circumventing the usual meritocratic hiring process and looking outside standard entertainment industry circles for new staff. Taneka Stotts, a genderfluid writer on Cartoon Network’s “Steven Universe: Future,” told Insider that to find other genderfluid, nonbinary, and bisexual staff, the series showrunner searched for talent on outlets like Twitter and Tumblr rather than via more traditional headhunting means.
One transgender showrunner who spoke to Insider, “Danger and Egg’s” Shadi Petosky, said activists aren’t simply interested in working in entertainment but routinely fight to make sure pro-LGBTQ content makes it to air. Insider reports of “Danger and Eggs”:
Where the show was overt — and ahead many of its animated counterparts — was in its queer themes and elements of LGBTQ culture like chosen families and Pride, with stories driven by its queer cast and crew. But it didn’t come easy, with Petosky sharing that “there were little arguments, and battles, and suspensions” throughout the production process.
“I had to fight with the help of GLAAD to get the actual word ‘Pride’ in, instead of it being called ‘Rainbow Parade’ or something,” Potesky [said].
Last week, actress Kirstie Alley voiced concern for this type of programming, arguing that it is paving the way pedophilia acceptance in the U.S.
“Was watching TV,” she said on Friday, “we’ve gone too far in my opinion. I feel sorry for our children. Their exposure to everything perverse on every kind of screen is mind boggling. And even more tragic, it’s being hyped as ‘normal.’” She finished, “People are becoming so ‘open minded’ that down the road they will support pedophilia as people ‘just loving children.’ You think I’m kidding. I’m not. It’s the direction this insanity is headed.”
The Insider story finished with a link to a database of 259 LGBTQ characters featured in kids’ programming.