The Disney Channel's recent decision to air its first TV show episode with a same-sex couple has drawn complaints from a group of parents concerned that it introduced “controversial topics that children are far too young to comprehend.”
“This is the last place a parent would expect their children to be confronted with topics that are too difficult for them to understand. Mature issues of this nature are being introduced too early and too soon, and it is extremely unnecessary,” said One Million Moms, a group that works to support values in entertainment media.
“Disney should stick to entertaining, not pushing an agenda,” the group stated Jan. 23.
The controversial episode of “Good Luck Charlie,” which is in its final season, aired Jan. 27. It included a scene in which two parents prepare for their daughter's friend to come over to play, while debating the name of the friend's mother. The child arrives at their house with two women, who proclaim that they are both the child's mothers.
The characters in the episode do not react, leading critics to say that the show is normalizing same-sex parents.
Former Disney star Miley Cyrus, whose raunchy performance with Robin Thicke at the Video Music Awards provoked controversy last year, had praised Disney for planning the episode.
“They control so much of what kids think!” she said on Twitter when the episode was first announced in June.
One Million Moms voiced disappointment that Disney aired the program, but noted on their Facebook page that the episode had no sponsors after Care.com dropped its sponsorship.
Political commentator Sally Kohn is now calling for Disney to feature a “gay princess.”
In a Jan. 28 opinion column on CNN.com, she noted the cultural influence of children's movies, saying that they are “exactly where our society's norms and ideals are most embedded.”
Urging that entertainment media be used from a young age to shape “how the next generation learns right and wrong and good and evil,” she argued that “it's high time that we have a Disney movie in which a princess marries a princess.”