The reboot of the classic Nickelodeon children’s cartoon “Rugrats” will reimagine one of the characters as an openly lesbian single mother.
“Rugrats,” which ran throughout the 1990s until 2004, launched Thursday as a new series of the same name on the streaming service Paramount Plus, which is owned by ViacomCBS.
“Nickelodeon is reuniting members of the original voice cast behind iconic toddlers Tommy Pickles, Chuckie Finster, Angelica Pickles, Susie Carmichael and Phil and Lil DeVille in the upcoming all-new Rugrats animated series,” read a press release from Nickelodeon.
Most of the characters will be the same as they were in the original series, though Betty, who is the mother of twins Phil and Lil, is now a single lesbian mom. Natalie Morales, who is openly queer, voices the character, and recently explained to entertainment website the A.V. Club how she wishes there had been more gay characters in cartoons when she was growing up.
“Betty is a single mom with her own business who has twins and still has time to hang out with her friends and her community, and I think it’s just so great because examples of living your life happily and healthily as an out queer person is just such a beacon for young queer people who may not have examples of that,” Morales said.
“And yeah, Betty is a fictional cartoon, but even cartoons were hugely influential for me as a kid and if I’d been watching ‘Rugrats’ and seen Betty casually talking about her ex-girlfriend, I think at least a part of me would have felt like things might be okay in the future,” Morales added.
“Some things to know about this updated version of Betty: She loves football, owns a café called Betty’s Beans, and she cracks jokes about her ex-girlfriends,” the A.V. Club further reported. “Now all we need is to know her thoughts on sharing a name with Taylor Swift’s gayest song. We’ll get to find out more about this new version of Betty when the show premieres May 27 on Paramount+.”
More and more children’s programming has been getting LGBT representation. As The Daily Wire reported about an upcoming reboot of a Disney cartoon from the 1990s:
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.