Things Less ‘Family-friendly’ Than a Love, Simon Series on Disney+

The children can cry over Bambi's mom all day, but boys kissing? Not on Mickey Mouse's watch.

On the heels of it touting out a character in Onward as its first example of queer representation in a Pixar film, Disney has decided to pull a sequel series to the 2018 gay teen comedy Love, Simon from Disney+ on the basis that it’s not “family friendly.”

Variety reports that the decision to remove Love, Victor, a 10-episode show based in the same school as the original film and book series, from Disney’s streaming service were due to the themes of the show, including discovering of one’s sexuality and alcohol use.

For those that haven’t seen Love, Simon or read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, the book it’s based off of, the movie’s a pretty wholesome teen comedy. Yeah, it does delve into the issues above, but it’s hardly an overtly sexual story, and it’s certainly not a series out there trying to corrupt the youth.

But this is just the latest example of Disney as a corporation being hesitant to embrace queerness. The company is more than happy to sell Pride Mickey pins at Disney World, but when it comes to acknowledging queerness in its movies, Disney either outright refuses to put this kind of content out into the world, or in the case of movies like Avengers: Endgame the most it can be bothered to do is put its director in front of the camera to play an unnamed character who says “I went on a date with a man” and expect the pat on the back for championing representation.

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All of this got me thinking, just what is it that Disney believes is more “family friendly” than a Love, Simon show? The more I thought about it, the more I realized just how many movies and shows Disney+ features that are much less family friendly than a teenager figuring himself out. Let’s unpack some of these:

10 Things I Hate About You: A teen movie about a heterosexual pairing that features teenage drinking. But when it’s not about gay characters it’s…family friendly?

101 Dalmatians: It’s about a woman literally skinning puppies.

Avengers: Infinity War: Thanos commits genocide on a universal scale, wiping out half of all life in the known universe. Right after he murdered the daughter he abused all under the guise of “love.”

Avengers: Endgame: Remember that time Thor decapitated Thanos?

Bambi, Frozen, Tarzan, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, The Good Dinosaur: Dead parents.

Pirates of the Caribbean: If you take issue with Love, Victor having alcohol in it you should probably just remove the entire series about an alcoholic pirate, yeah? Why is the rum gone, Captain Jack Sparrow? Because Disney says that’s not for the children to see. Also like, didn’t one of those movies open with a man having his eyes pecked out while in a cage? Still haunts me, to be honest.

PocahontasColonialism.

The Simpsons Movie: Thinking about that time the government quarantined a whole town and almost blew them up because Arnold Schwarzenegger said so.

The Simpsons: Just generally, The Simpsons deals with like, everything Love, Victor does and more without the wholesome messages of self-acceptance around it, and there are over 30 seasons of it.

Star Wars Episode III – Revenge of the Sith: When Anakin Skywalker is in the midst of his transformative evil arc as he transitions into his role as Darth Vader, he murders a bunch of toddlers.

Toy Story 3: This movie traumatized millions of people by pretending to almost murder beloved animation icons by way of a furnace.

Up: If adults can’t handle that intro, how can we expect our children to?

At any rate, Love, Victor will now have a new home on Hulu when it debuts in June, so at the very least fans will still have the chance to watch it on a streaming service other than Disney+. But Disney owns that service too, so praise the ever growing grip that company has on the media landscape.

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Kenneth Shepard

Kenneth is a Georgia-based writer who still periodically cries about the Mass Effect trilogy years after it concluded.

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