When Disney bought Fox and its myriad assets for a cool $71 billion, it acquired a whole host of properties to develop, dump, and do what they please with. One of those was Love, Simon, the teen drama sleeper hit based on the Becky Albertalli YA novel Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Directed by Greg Berlanti, the PG-13 movie told the story of a teenage boy trying to navigate his adolescence and burgeoning sexuality. It’s a sweet movie. You should watch it. It didn’t seem like it was primed for Disney to develop further given their huge aversion to anything intended for viewers who aren’t young kids or families, but then it was announced that there would be a new Disney+ series spinning off from the movie and continuing its themes. It felt like a small but crucial step forward for the company. Finally, a show with a gay protagonist from the House of Mouse. It’s a start!
But yeah, they chickened out. Love, Victor will now be a Hulu exclusive instead (because yes, Disney also owns Hulu now.) Disney has not commented on the move, but sources at The Wrap say that the series’ more mature elements are better suited to Hulu over Disney+, which is specifically intended for young kids and families. There were fears that Love, Victor ‘might alienate’ their core demographic. Said sources also insist that ‘had nothing to do with the fact that “Love, Victor” centers on a gay character.’ Uh-huh. Okay. This is actually the second time Disney has shunted a show intended for their shiny new streaming service over to their older step-sibling, as the same fate befell High Fidelity.
Maybe this is a smart move but the optics feel so sh*tty, right? So much of homophobia and anti-queer rhetoric is rooted in positioning LGBTQ+ identities as inherently sexual and ‘mature’ in a way that heterosexuality doesn’t get described as. We’ve seen enough pathetic protests from ‘concerned families’ groups to know how even the slightest mention of a non-cishet character or situation gets spun as dangerous or another example of pinko liberals trying to brainwash those poor little children.
Oh well, I guess we’ll have to do with ground-breaking queer representation in Disney properties like that one Russo brother in Avengers: Endgame. Oh, the diversity!