The Disney Channel has featured its first ever gay couple, in sitcom ‘Good Luck Charlie’.
Desi Lydic and Lilli Birdsell played Susan and Cheryl, who are the parents of a child that Charlie has a playdate with.
Although Charlie’s parents are surprised to learn that “Taylor has two mums”, they quickly grow to accept them for who they are.
Disney announced the move last June, and said in a statement: “This particular storyline was developed under the consultancy of child development experts and community advisors… 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.”
The American Family Association group One Million Moms had opposed the move with an internet campaign and threatened to boycott Disney if they aired the episode.
A statement from One Million Moms said: “One Million Moms launched an email campaign in 2013 that urged Disney officials to abandon their plans to corrupt the children’s network with LGBT content. However, Disney officials have not responded to the thousands of emails protesting their plans. Disney has decided to be politically correct instead of providing family-friendly programming.”
“If ‘Good Luck Charlie’ goes through with introducing LGBT content, then the floodgates will be opened for all programs on the Disney Channel – a trend that will be almost impossible to stop.”
The long-planned episode may have had its thunder stolen by a throwaway moment in recent Disney film Frozen, where shop owner Oaken, voiced by Chris Williams, is shown to be living with a burly man and four children.
However, as Oaken never confirms his sexuality and his partner is only briefly seen, Susan and Cheryl are Disney’s first definitely gay couple.
‘Good Luck Charlie’ is about to conclude its final series, and so it is not thought that the characters will return in future.