Disney has been striving to become more diverse, and culturally aware. On the International Day of the Girl, October 11, Disney launched the #DreamBigPrincess campaign which is a series of photographers, who are all women and their pictures of different girls across the globe. There are images of girls from India, Australia, Kenya, and so many other countries where girls aren’t as represented in media. Of course, bringing light to girls re-defining the word “Princess” is important, but Disney needs to step up with representing more identifiers of people.
Disney Channel has created shows such as Raven’s Home, K.C Undercover, and Stuck in the Middle to not just only show new dynamics of families (i.e single-parent households, etc), but also have brought more representation for people of color. Zendaya and Raven Symone pushed Disney to let them become producers of their shows so that they can have accurate representation on their shows. The show Andi Mack came out earlier this year and was talked about a lot due to the fact it’s the first Disney show to talk about teenage pregnancy. Andi’s told from a young age that she has an older sister, but when she turns 13, she finds out that this “older sister” is actually her mother, and that she’s the result of her mother having a teenage pregnancy.
The average age of people who watch Andi Mack are 10 years old, which makes it a prime time for children to be exposed to topics that are discussed on the show. Also, Andi Mack being Asian American let’s young girls throughout the world see someone on television that looks like them.
The newest topic regarding this show is that Disney will have it’s first ever LGBTQ+ storyline. The character, Cyrus, will have a “coming out” episode on the season premiere of the show on Friday, October 27 at 8:00 P.M. Past Disney Channel shows usually have heterosexual relationships between assumed cis-gendered people, and to have more LGBTQ+ representation really speaks to more people, and teaches children how to be accepting of people’s sexual orientation. Joshua Rush, who plays Cyrus on Andi Mack, wrote on Instagram, “Starting conversations about trust, love, relationships and family dynamics is easier when you have a show that you can relate to. Andi Mack gives young people and their parents, mentors, and champions a meaningful way to talk about these topics and the power to decide their futures. I’m so proud to bring Cyrus’ groundbreaking storyline to life and for you to see what we’ve been working on.” Cyrus will be coming to terms with his sexuality throughout the second season, and by doing so will be the first openly gay main character on Disney Channel.