Saturday, 15 January 2011

Disney Channel: Don't Shake It Up

AE:"You and I first spoke three years ago about whether the Disney Channel might ever include a gay character on one of your shows. I'm wondering if things might have changed since then. You currently have a show called Shake It Up! and a fourteen-year-old fan of the show brought it to our attention saying that he interpreted the character of Gunther as gay, even though he didn't think the show would ever say the character was gay. So I'm wondering, given Disney's history of being racially diverse and so influential in the lives of young kids, is Disney ever going to be including gay characters in age appropriate ways?"
GM: "What I said before really remains true. We leave it up to our audience to interpret who these characters are and how they relate to them. It's great that this child has interpreted Gunther this way and that it speaks to him in a way that makes sense for his life. And that's what we're trying to do - create a diverse cross section of characters on television that kids can have different access points and entry points to connect with."
AE: "But why is a gay character something a gay teen should have to interpret?"

From an exchange between Gary Marsh, president of Disney Channel Worldwide, and Michael Jensen of the US website, AfterElton.

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