When you watched Disney Channel many years ago, progressive storylines probably looked like Lizzie McGuire wanting to buy a bra or Raven Baxter discussing positive body image. And yes, of course these topics were and still continue to be important, but Disney’s Andi Mack made history on the channel in its season two premiere when 13 year old Cyrus, one of the show’s main characters, came out as gay. VALLEY took a look into the storyline, its reactions, and what it means for Disney.
In the incredibly touching scene, Cyrus tells his friend Buffy that he has feelings for the same boy that their other best friend, Andi, also likes. It’s as real as a middle school crush can get combines with the fact that Cyrus is clearly trying to stay true to himself. The best part? Buffy is nothing but supportive of her friend being true to himself. It was direct, sweet and sincere all at the same time.
Buffy wasn’t the only one to be happy for Cyrus though. The #AndiMack Twitter tag was overrun with positive responses from fans all over the world. Disney made history with the storyline and people are not shying away from the fact that this representation was definitely needed. Welcome to 2017 everyone!
Of course, a story that pushes boundaries like this one is not only going to be met with praise. Negative backlash from conservative groups is a reality that the show has faced so far, but it’s not deterring Disney from telling the authentic story that matters. And apparently, their progressive mindset is paying off because Andi Mack’s ratings have increased significantly since the story line’s debut. No stranger to pushing buttons in the past, as the show’s basis is a story about an asian american girl who finds out her mom is actually the woman she thought was her sister.
Still, this new storyline is a giant step for representation in kid’s television. It is giving a voice to those teens who have not felt heard by anyone in the past. It is breaking the mold for Disney Channel by giving kids role models that they can relate to.
Of course, the shows of the past that were both relatable and funny like Lizzie McGuire and That’s So Raven seemed to do the best in viewership, so Andi Mack seems to have a bright future in store if it continues to not only push boundaries, but also remain relevant and comical.