You don't usually see Disney and controversy in the same sentence, but that's just where the bubble gum, puppies, and princesses network could have found itself this week. The Disney Channel's immensely popular Good Luck Charlie is wrapping up its final season in a few weeks and is doing so in a big way. On this week's episode, Charlie's mom set up a playdate with one of the tot's preschool friends. After Charlie's parents, Amy and Bob, have some comedic confusion over the name of the "the mom," they open the door to find two women standing there with the child — leading Bob to proclaim, "Taylor has two moms," and Amy responding, "Wow! Nothing gets past you, Bob!" And that was that — no fanfare, no prelude warning parents about the episode, and no difference between the way these lesbian moms interact with the Duncans and other families do.
News of Disney's introduction of a same-sex couple to the show was first announced last June, but I had completely forgotten about it until my kids and I sat down to watch it last night. At the time, Disney explained, "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."
And that's just what they did. As the show progressed, I kept waiting for my elementary- and preschool-age kids to ask me why the little girl had two moms (though we live in Manhattan, one of the most diverse cities in the world, neither of my children happen to have friends with same-sex parents) and was getting ready to explain that people don't choose who they fall in love with, but it never came up. They laughed at all the right parts, groaned when the older boys got in trouble, and went about their merry way when it was over. When I asked if they noticed anything about the episode, they looked at me like I had two heads — "nothing out of the ordinary" said one, while the other asked if was shorter than the usual episode "because it went by faster." So that was that. Disney broke ground with the first same-sex couple on their network and nary a blip was noticed by kids — the show's intended audience. Good for Disney!
How did you feel about the episode?