For the first time in the network’s history, the Disney Channel will feature a LGBTQ storyline in one of its TV shows. Marketed to pre-teenagers, the second season of Andi Mack opens with one of the main characters (Cyrus) confiding to another character that he has a crush on the same boy that Andi Mack has a crush on.
If like me you’re unfamiliar with the show, Entertainment Weekly provides a helpful synopsis:
Andi Mack, which is about to begin its second season on Friday, follows the tale of 13-year-old Andi Mack (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) as she comes of age alongside her trio of best friends, which includes Cyrus Goodman (Joshua Rush). Jonah Beck (Asher Angel) is Andi’s longtime crush, but her best friend Cyrus will soon begin realizing that he also has feelings for Jonah. When he confides this to their other best friend Buffy (Sofia Wylie), he finds an understanding and supportive friend that the network hopes will serve as a role model for both kids and adults. Throughout the rest of the season, Cyrus grapples with his continued journey of self-discovery alongside his friends Buffy and Andi, as well as how to tell his new girlfriend and more.
Upon hearing the news, many conservative parents are probably going to do what I did just before sitting down to write this article — check their children’s Netflix to make sure that Andi Mack isn’t on any of their kids’ lists. As best I can tell, the show isn’t on Netflix, but I’m going to double my parenting efforts to keep tabs on which Disney shows my kids watch as well as monitoring the content of all Disney Channel shows.
Leftists, of course, are praising the news. In an article about Andi Mack‘s upcoming season, GLAAD issued this statement:
“With more and more young people coming out as LGBTQ, Andi Mack is reflecting the lives and lived experiences of so many LGBTQ youth around the country,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “Television reflects the real life world and today that includes LGBTQ youth who deserve to see their lives depicted on their favorite shows. Disney has been a leader in LGBTQ inclusion and there are so many young people who will be excited to see Cyrus’ story unfold.”
According to the GLAAD article, the average median age for viewers of Andi Mack is ten. It’s also “the #1 series of the year so far for girls. It’s also been #1 in its time period among Kids 6-14 and the #1 series on Disney Channel VOD and on Disney Channel’s DisneyNOW App. It’s also the #1 series on Disney Channel UK.” In other words, Andi Mack is a popular show, which makes this season’s LGBTQ storyline an important test case for the Disney Channel.
If the ratings for Andi Mack grow or remain steady, we can expect to see more LGBTQ storylines throughout the Disney Channel’s programming. In turn, that will cause other producers of children’s content to embrace the progressive agenda and insert LGBTQ characters and storylines into their products. In that scenario, conservative parents are going to quickly find the children’s entertainment market overrun with offensive programming, more so than it already is.
If the ratings go down, it will be interesting to see how the producers of Andi Mack respond. Basic economics state that faced with those circumstances, the producers will bow to the market and dump the storyline. However, pushing the LGBTQ agenda may take precedence over good business sense for the Disney Channel. Either way, Disney is sending a clear signal that they are not interested in appealing to conservative families.