The Disney Channel family sitcom Good Luck Charlie is a widely popular children’s television show about a middle class family adjusting to the birth of their newest child, Charlie. On January 26, the children’s sitcom introduced two new characters that are sparking controversy. Susan and Cheryl, two openly lesbian mothers, paid a visit to the Duncan household as their child and Charlie had a play date.
The appearance of two openly lesbian moms on a television show targeted for young children has many parents and conservatives concerned. Many argue that children should not be introduced to such a controversial topic at such a young age.
Taking a stand against the appearance of the openly gay couple is One Million Moms, a conservative watchdog group that called on Disney to put an end to the apparently soon to be “ongoing trend” of the appearance of gay couples on its shows.
Even though the show will be coming to a close on February 16, One Million Moms argues that, “one episode is enough, especially since the network repeatedly airs reruns of all its programs.” Further addressing the fact that a children’s network is introducing gay characters, the group states, “This is the last place a parent would expect their children to be confronted with topics that are too difficult for them to understand. Mature issues of this nature are being introduced too early and too soon, and it is extremely unnecessary.”
It seems the argument of “children cannot comprehend gay marriage” is the main reason why so many parents are concerned. But is it that the children that can not comprehend, or the parents that can not explain?
Yes, talking to children about sexuality is an awkward and uncomfortable conversation. However explaining that some kids have two moms, and some kids have two dads does not seem so difficult.
Good Luck Charlie airs on the original Disney Channel, which is targeted at kids ages 8-14. Had the couple been introduced on a show from Disney Junior which targets kids ages 3-7, well, that would be a little different. Yes, kids from ages 3-7 are too young to be introduced to such topics, but ages 8-14 however are indeed mature enough to grasp the concept.
The point is that the majority of kids watching the show are not too young to be able to comprehend gay marriage, it is the parents that are too hesitant to take a step forward.
Disney is stepping in the right direction. The majority of children today are influenced by what they see on TV, as it serves as a major influence upon them. By introducing gay and lesbian couples, Disney is influencing the acceptance of different sexualities, leading children of the next generation into being accepting of all kinds of people.