Disney is taking a big step into modernity with its show Andi Mack. The show, from Lizzie McGuire creator Terri Minsky, made historical waves for the network with the first story line about a gay character coming out of the closet.
Andi Mack follows 13-year-old Andi (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) throughout her teenage adventures. The Season 2 premiere (which aired this past Friday) Andi's friend Cyrus (Joshua Rush) began his coming-out journey. Rush addressed his character's new direction in an Instagram post a few days ago.
Starting conversations about trust, love, relationships and family dynamics is easier when you have a show that you can relate to. Andi Mack gives young people and their parents, mentors, and champions a meaningful way to talk about these topics and the power to decide their futures. I’m so proud to bring Cyrus’ groundbreaking storyline to life and for you to see what we’ve been working on. Tune in this Friday at 8pm EST for the season premiere of season 2 ???? #andimack #disneychannel
Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast made headlines this year with LeFou being openly interested in Gaston. Gaston, on the other hand, was still thoroughly driven to have Belle as his wife.
Star vs. the Forces of Evil on Disney XD featured Disney's first same-sex kiss in its second season, accroding to the Washington Post. Even our beloved (if oft-berated) High School Musical franchise alluded to gay characters.
But Andi Mack has been very popular since it first graced our screens, so it makes sense Disney would choose a fan-favorite to feature its first coming-out story line. This is pretty huge, especially considering how Andi's big sister, Bex, was revealed to be her biological mother in the show's pilot episode.
“‘Andi Mack’ is a story about ‘tweens’ figuring out who they are,” Disney Channel said in a statement earlier this week. “Everyone involved in the show takes great care in ensuring that it’s appropriate for all audiences and sends a powerful message about inclusion and respect for humanity.”
GLAAD has praised the show's direction and Disney channel as a whole.
“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,” the organization’s president and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis, said in a statement. “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.”
This new direction for Disney could open up a whole new world for the franchise. We've seen small changes already in Beauty and the Beast's LeFou, the lack of a romantic story line in Moana, and even familial, not romantic love, saving the day in Frozen.