Disney's hit tween series Andi Mack returned with its second season opener and dropped a historic first for the House of the Mouse: a live-action teen's coming-out storyline. While the signs had been there looking back on the series first season, with the character of Cyrus, played by Joshua Rush, having been teasing at a crush on Jonah (Asher Angel). But in latest episode, he comes out to bestie, Buffy.
The series has skyrocketed in popularity both with it's target teen demographic as well as with older viewers due to it's relatively serious approach to handling complex life situations. From Lizzie McGuire and Finding Carter creator Terri Minsky, the series has dealt with racial identity, nontypical parental situations, and other topics that generally are either barely touched on or only used as a punchline.
The self-appointed family values crusader organization One Million Moms has decided to take a time out from it's weekly hate-fest of protesting The Mick and Preacher to throw a fit about their perceived inappropriateness of the subject matter. On the organization's website, they declared:
What is wrong with having family-friendly content that is acceptable for all ages or even leaving a couple of networks solely for children's entertainment? Disney Channel is gradually becoming another Freeform Network. As one of only a few channels catering to children, it cannot possibly be that Disney Channel has a financial need for more adult viewers.
By choosing to abandon family-friendly entertainment, Disney's inexplicable choice to move toward more "adult" fare may ultimately prove to be a huge mistake.
The Mom's announcement finishes up with the ominous warning about the innocence of 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.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, LGBT support organization PFLAG a statement from its National Executive Director, Dr. Jaime Grant, in support of the show and it's storyline:
Sharing one's innermost self can be challenging, and to do so as an adolescent can be particularly so, especially when in the midst of figuring it out for yourself. Coming out requires honest self reflection, no small amount of bravery, and a safe place with at least one trusted person—a friend, a parent, a teacher—who can hold your confidence…and your heart. ANDI MACK's creative team captures this moment of revelation with such thought, care, and authenticity; it will be a memory moment for some, and a teachable moment for many
The coming out scene has been released and can be seen in the video below. In it, Cyrus talks to Buffy about his feelings after having watched the show's titular character Andi and her crush Jonah.
Upcoming episodes will follow Cyrus trying to make sense of his feelings, and himself having to figure out if, how, and when to tell his own girlfriend, Iris.