‘Family-focused’ Disney+ quietly ditches Love, Simon TV series for being too ‘adult’
The television spin-off of Love, Simon will no longer be on Disney’s core streaming service Disney+ and will instead jump to Hulu.
Love, Victor was produced and developed with the animation studio’s online service. With a Pride Month debut date, it will follow a new student at Creekwood High School, the same high school as the movie.
Adjusting to city living, making news pals and struggling with his sexual orientation – these are some of the themes Love, Victor will platform.
But it is the latter that has proved chaffing for Disney executives, who, sources say, believe that exploring sexuality would not resonate with family audiences, the Hollywood Reporter reported.
Love, Simon spin-off deemed ‘adult’ due to themes of ‘sexual exploration’.
Due to the half-hour show’s “adult themes”, the “family-focused” service made the move not to feature the spin-off and will instead drop it on the also Disney-owned Hulu.
Specifically, the adult themes cited include alcohol use, marital issues among parents and “sexual exploration”, the outlet said. The source said that executives feared that families would not watch shows with such themes with “young kids”.
Disney+, the company’s main streaming arm, also carted High Fidelity to Hulu. A modern adaptation of the Nick Hornby classic, it centres on a bisexual Brooklynite reaching out to her five former flames.
In a statement, vice president of originals at Hulu said: “Love, Victor is funny, heartfelt and deeply affecting, and we were incredibly taken with the project.
“The show’s contemporary lens and honest storytelling make it a perfect fit for the millions of fans on Hulu who already watch and see themselves in series like Looking For Alaska, Pen15 and Grown-ish.”
Moreover, a writer’s room has already been drafted for a second season.
The first season of Love, Victor will feature ten episodes. Disney+ president content and marketing said: “With Hulu now an integral part of our streaming family, our teams are closely collaborating and we have the unique ability to choose the best home for our original productions.
“All of us at Disney+ are incredibly proud of Love, Victor and know the series will be a perfect addition to Hulu’s strong slate of young adult programming.”
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Original film made history when first released.
Heralded as the first major-studio film to focus on LGBT+ romance, the adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda sent tremors along Hollywood when it was first released.
Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker, the film’s writers, will serve as co-showrunners on the series while remaining on their other show, This Is Us.
“We could not be more excited to be making Love, Simon for Disney+,” they said in a statement.
“Writing Love, Simon was one of the most profound and enjoyable experiences of our careers to date and we are beyond thrilled that we get to revisit this world and tell the story of Victor.
“We have a phenomenal group of writers with tremendously personal connections to the material crafting our episodes, and have assembled a dream team cast and crew to bring these stories to life, and cannot wait to share what we’re working on with the world.”
It was originally thought that the show would follow the plot of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda‘s sequel, Leah on the Offbeat.
However, Berger confirmed that “the series takes place in the same high school and the same town as the movie but is actually a continuation about a whole new kid with a whole new story”.