Disney has entered new territory. The kiddie channel Disney XD aired its first-ever gay kiss on Daron Nefcy’s animated children’s series Star vs. the Forces of Evil, according to Entertainment Weekly.
The episode was titled “Just Friends,” and it featured characters Star, Marco, and Jackie (voiced by Eden Sher, Adam McArthur, Grey Griffin) attending a boy band concert which has members of the audience in a frenzy to lock lips with their significant others, including several same-sex couples. A male couple is shown kissing on cue in the scene, and two females are also shown together. You can see the Disney XD gay kiss scene in the video at the end of this article.
It’s no surprise that the same-sex Disney couples caught the attention of conservative group One Million Moms, who slammed Disney XD for including gay couples in the amorous audience.
“This is the last place parents would expect their children to be confronted with content regarding sexual orientation,” the group wrote. “Issues of this nature are being introduced too early and too soon, and it is becoming extremely common and unnecessary.”
But not all viewers were angry about the same-sex smooches in the episode “Just Friends.” Some praised Disney for the “bold” move, while other old-school cartoon watchers name-checked Looney Tunes—and Bugs Bunny, in particular—for being light years ahead of Disney when it comes to featuring a gay kiss.
Of course, this is not the first time Disney Channel has raised eyebrows for featuring same-sex characters, although it is the first gay kiss to air on any of Disney’s networks. In 2014, the Disney sitcom Good Luck Charlie introduced the network’s first-ever gay couple. At the time, a Disney Channel spokesperson told TV Guide that the episode that featured two lesbian moms was developed “to be relevant to kids and families around the world and to reflect themes of diversity and inclusiveness.”
Former Disney stars like Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) praised the network for getting real about real families, but One Million Moms blasted the Disney Channel for the content of the episode.
“Just because something may be legal or because some are choosing a lifestyle doesn’t make it morally correct,” the group wrote.
“Disney should stick to entertaining instead of pushing an agenda…Conservative families need to urge Disney to exclude confusing topics that children are far too young to comprehend…Children are now being exposed to same-sex marriage on a network that is designed for kids.”
While Good Luck Charlie’s lesbian couple had some people up in arms, Disney darling Rowan Blanchard (Girl Meets World) has also been vocal about the fact that she would like to see gay storylines on the Disney Channel. The Disney starlet previously told fans she identifies as “queer” because she is open to dating any gender in the future. In a series of tweets last year, Blanchard said she would have liked to have seen LGBT representation on Girl Meets World, even if it wasn’t her character, Riley. Unfortunately, the show was canceled by Disney before that could happen, but the Boy Meets World spinoff did address serious subjects such as gender equality and Asperger’s syndrome during its three-season run.
While Girl Meets World never featured a gay couple, Disney is set to feature its first “exclusively gay moment” on the big screen as part of the live movie adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. In an interview with Attitude magazine, director Bill Condon revealed that the gay character will be LeFou (Josh Gad), who realizes he has feelings for Gaston (Luke Evans).
“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” Condon said. “He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that’s what has its payoff at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”
Take a look at the video below to see the gay kiss scene in Disney XD’s Star v. the Forces of Evil.
[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]