LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – In an historic move, the Disney Channel included a lesbian couple as parents of a young child on their hit television show “Good Luck Charlie.”
The two fictional characters – Cheryl and Susan, the mothers of a young girl – were shown on the penultimate episode of the series, which has followed the life of Charlotte “Charlie” Duncan and her family.
Rather than having their introduction be a source of conflict in the episode’s plot, it is dismissed quickly, with only a quick joke made at the expense of the featured family’s patriarch, Bob, and his observational skills.
“Taylor has two moms,” he states after the mothers follow their child into the home.
His on-screen wife, Amy, dryly replies, “Wow, nothing gets past you, Bob.”
Hollywood Life is reporting that their introduction was a carefully coordinated move on the part of show executives, and that a great deal of thought was put into how it should be done.
“This particular story line was developed under the consultancy of child development experts and community advisors,” a spokesperson for Disney Channel was quoted as saying. “Like all Disney Channel programming, it was developed to be relevant to kids and families around the world and to reflect themes of diversity and inclusiveness.”
The move sparked a rather polarized response, as it was celebrated by some and harshly criticized by others.
In particular, the conservative family values organization One Million Moms responded negatively to the depiction of a same-sex family.
“Just because something may be legal or because some are choosing a lifestyle doesn’t make it morally correct,” the organization asserted in a release on its official website. “Disney should stick to entertaining instead of pushing an agenda.”
The release continued, “Disney decided to be politically correct versus providing family-friendly programming.”
Others, including representatives of GLAAD (formerly known as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), offered praise for Disney’s decision.
“The inclusion of a family with two moms is a historic move in the right direction for the network which has never before included out gay characters in their series and made-for-TV films,” GLAAD noted in its own release on the matter.
The final episode will air on Feb. 16.