Disney Revamping Kids Cartoon with Gay Dads and Teen Activist
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Disney is revamping its 20-year-old animated series “The Proud Family” and the reboot will center on two multiethnic, gay dads and their adopted teenage daughter, who is a racial activist.
The entertainment brand announced the show, “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder,” via social media Wednesday.
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
The fathers, Barry and Randall Leibowitz-Jenkins, will be voiced by Billy Porter and Zachary Quinto — both of whom are gay — while the daughter, Maya, will be voiced by Keke Palmer.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the other cast members of the original series, which aired from 2001 to 2005, will return to voice the seminal characters Penny Proud, Oscar Proud, Trudy Proud, Uncle Bobby Proud, and Suga Mama.
Series character Michael Collins, the best friend of Penny Proud, will return in his effeminate style, this time as “a non-conforming trendsetter.”
The show is expected to debut on Disney+ sometime in 2022.
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This is not the first time Disney has pushed LGBT issues in content catered to its younger viewers.
Last August, the Burbank-based behemoth confirmed the lead character of its cartoon series “The Owl House,” a 14-year-old Dominican-American girl named Luz Noceda, would be openly bisexual.
Showrunner Dana Terrace said at the time she had long intended to feature “queer kids” in the cast of the animated show. While Disney initially opposed the idea, Terrace said her “stubbornness paid off” as her ideas are now “very supported by current Disney leadership.”
Additionally, Disney’s 2020 Pixar film “Onward” featured the company’s first self-identified LGBT character in an animated movie. The character, Officer Cyclops, has one line in the movie, in which she refers to her “girlfriend.” It was also recently reported Pixar is casting for an unnamed project that will feature a teenage transgender character named Jess.
California-based Pastor John MacArthur seemingly condemned Disney during a sermon earlier this month. He rebuked the brand for creating “characters that are transgender to seduce children into accepting wickedness as normal.”
“Children are under a relentless assault by all the forces of evil, and they are defenseless,” he said. “And we have a society and a culture that wants to make sure that those who are pumping out this destruction are free to keep doing it without restraint.”
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