Same-Sex Couple on Disney Sparks Controversy

St. Scholastica's Student Newspaper
The Cable
Photo credit to www.animationmagazine.net

Photo credit to www.animationmagazine.net

By -Ellen Hansen ehansen6@css.edu

The changing ideas of what is socially acceptable can be traced through the storylines of the television shows that have come to be loved by the generations. Take a look back at the 1968 Star Trek episode, "Plato's Children," for example. In this episode, the show became the first ever to include an interracial kiss in its programming, earning adamant criticism as well as a roaring outcry of support. Today, this advancement is seen by most as a just and monumental thing.

On Sunday, January 26th, the Disney Channel children's show Good Luck Charlie caused controversy of its own when little Charlie's playmate turned out to have two mommies rather than one. This was the first time the network has ever included a same-sex relationship on screen, leading many to wonder if similar couples will be included on a more regular basis in the future. A Disney Channel spokesperson discussed the addition with TV Guide as far back as the summer of last year, explaining how the show had been developing that specific episode with great care and under the consultation of child development specialists. The spokesperson elaborated further by saying, "Like all Disney Channel programming, it was developed to be relevant to kids and families around the world and to reflect themes of diversity and inclusiveness." (Schneider)

In response to this inclusion, One Million Moms, an organization geared toward cleaning up television, spoke out, saying, "Just because something may be legal or because some are choosing a lifestyle doesn't make it morally correct. Disney should stick to entertaining instead of pushing an agenda." (One Million Moms). Many people, it would seem, find themselves in agreement with this online group of mothers, preferring to see on the screen what they believe to be good for their children rather than what is considered politically correct. Just the same, some of those who oppose the development simply do not see the subject at hand as suitable for kids, claiming that it would spur premature parent-child conversations regarding sexuality.

Still, despite the numerous arguments against the inclusion of these two loving mothers, most of the articles published on the subject seem to be skewed in favor of this decision. As the world develops today, same-sex marriage is beginning to become more and more widely accepted. Since Disney has always held themes of mutual respect and a love of family, it seems fitting to many that the company should begin to include more of the kinds of families that are popping up today. For many, the nonchalant way in which the development is handled is the perfect way to get young kids to become comfortable with the world as it is.

Just as Star Trek did back in '68, Good Luck Charlie has proved itself to be capable of adapting to the changing views of society. While the lovely pair of mothers is not likely to appear again before the program's final episode, their brief presence has certainly made a statement.


Sources:
Disney Channel Features Two Mom Family. (2014). One Million Moms. Retrieved from: www.onemillionmoms.com

Schneider, M. (June 30, 2013). Disney Channel Breaks New Ground with Good Luck Charlie Episode. TV Guide.