Disney Channel’s second season premiere of the teen series “Andi Mack” featured a “coming out scene” on Friday, as one of the main male characters acknowledges that he is jealous of his female friend’s new relationship as he likes the boy that she is dating.
In the episode, Cyrus, played by Joshua Rush, is questioned by Buffy, played by Sofia Wylie, when she notices he is bothered about something.
“You’re scaring me,” Buffy says. “I’m scaring me, too,” Cyrus replies.
She then asks what the problem is, and he outlines that he isn’t completely happy that Andi, played by Peyton Elizabeth Lee, is in a relationship with Jonah, played by Asher Angel.
“Last night, when we were watching Andi and Jonah, you asked me if I’m happy for Andi,” Cyrus explains. “And I said, ‘Yes, I’m happy for Andi.’ But, I’m also not happy for Andi.”
“How come?” Buffy asks, perplexed. Then adds seconds later, “Are you jealous?”
“Cyrus, do you like Andi?” she inquires.
Cyrus shakes his head no, appearing distressed.
“You like Jonah,” Buffy says, surprised at the conclusion she has reached.
Cyrus nods, again looking saddened and torn.
“Buffy, I feel weird,” he divulges. “Different.”
Buffy then grabs his hands and tells him that he has always been weird, but is “no different.”
“I’m glad I told you,” Cyrus says. “But the thought of telling anyone else…”
“You’ll be okay, I promise,” Buffy replies.
“This is really bad timing,” Cyrus remarks. “I just got a girlfriend.”
The two smile and chuckle about the matter. According to reports, Cyrus kisses his girlfriend earlier in the episode. The rest of the season is also stated to include scenes depicting Cyrus’ struggle with his feelings and how to break the news about his homosexuality to his girlfriend.
Disney has released a statement about the show, writing, “The Disney brand has always been inclusive, with stories that reflect acceptance and tolerance and celebrate the differences that make our characters uniquely wonderful in their own way. We constantly strive to live up to that legacy by continuing to create and share compelling storylines from our studios and media networks that entertain with inspirational and aspirational themes and reflect the incredibly rich diversity of the human experience.”
The episode has also drawn praise from homosexual groups, who according to reports, were permitted to screen the coming out program.
“With more and more young people coming out as LGBTQ, Andi Mack is reflecting the lives and lived experiences of so many LGBTQ youth around the country,” GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement. “Television reflects the real life world and today that includes LGBTQ youth who deserve to see their lives depicted on their favorite shows. Disney has been a leader in LGBTQ inclusion and there are so many young people who will be excited to see Cyrus’ story unfold.”
However, the group One Million Moms expressed concern that such themes are being introduced to children.
“The Disney Channel is deliberately choosing to ‘move forward’ and promote adult content to children. By choosing to move in the direction of more ‘adult’ stories and content, the Disney Channel—and the entire Disney media empire—may be choosing to sacrifice something far more precious … children’s innocence,” it stated.
As previously reported, in August, an episode of the preschooler-geared Disney Junior cartoon “Doc McStuffins” featured an animated depiction of the lesbian mothers of two children.
Disney also raised concerns earlier this year when it aired its first-ever same-sex kissing scene during a broadcast of its cartoon “Star vs. the Forces of Evil,” as well as when Bill Condon, director of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” live-action remake, revealed that that the film would include a subtle “gay moment.”
Condon told the homosexual travel magazine Passport in 2012 that he wished he could say he was like “Lord of the Rings” star Ian McKellen, who has admitted to ripping Leviticus 18:22 out of hotel Bibles because of its prohibition of homosexual sex acts.