Disney+ has announced it will no longer feature the “Love, Simon” TV series which portrays an LGBTQ+ teen coming out story. The streaming platform has concluded it is moving the upcoming Love, Simon spinoff series, now entitled Love, Victor, to Hulu and will be premiered in June, Pride month. Variety reports that Disney took issue specifically with the show’s content for a young audience. “Sources also note that Disney felt many issues explored on the show, including alcohol use and sexual exploration, would not fit in with the family-friendly content on Disney Plus”.
The original movie is an adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s young adult novel “Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda”. After its release in 2018, it became the first ever Hollywood film from a major studio that centered a teen gay romance. The movie made $4.6 million in its first day and grossed $11.8 million in its opening weekend, surpassing industry expectations as well as a cult follower ship. Because of the film’s success, Disney+ commissioned a highly-anticipated TV show version, which was due for release on the new streaming service later this year.
Some people have expressed frustration at the news stating that Disney’s decision to pull “Love, Simon” from its streaming service reflects a trend of homophobia from the media company. Appeals to family values are a homophobic dog whistle as old as time, from a company that has been straining for big representation moments in recent years. “Make no mistake, it is cretinous, sinister stuff when a corporation views marginalized groups as part of a checklist en route to the next billion, while leaving those same people behind when it might impact the bottom line” – MIC.
Disney is yet to debut a film with an LGBTQ+ lead but is currently working on a Pixar film, “Onward,” which will star Lena Waithe, a lesbian director, actress, and icon as an openly-queer character.