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A More Mature Disney?

New show “Andi Mack” is the beginning of more progressive children’s channel story lines.

Margiory Valle, Sports Editor

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Disney channel has been in the lives of many current high school students. The predominantly squeaky clean channel has recently had a reputation for it’s “safe” and family-friendly shows. The shows have mostly avoided any type of controversial or serious topics.

Many have pointed out that Disney shows recently don’t have the depth and meaningful life lessons they used to have. Old shows like “Lizzie McGuire” touched on subjects like eating disorders and that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help, and “That’s So Raven” would emphasize that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

Luckily, one of Disney’s newest shows “Andi Mack” seems to be returning to touching on important subjects. Having one of the most progressive and “risky” storylines up to date for a Disney Channel show, “Andi Mack” has received a lot of attention and praise.

A large part of the show revolves around teenage pregnancy, beginning with Andi discovering that her older “sister” Bex isn’t actually her sister. Celia, who she thought was her mother is actually her grandmother and Bex is Andi’s mother. Dropped with this bombshell, Andi struggles after learning she’s been lied to all her life. Also realizing that she didn’t know who her real father was. Including the many children with single parents, showing them that it’s okay, it doesn’t make them any less of a family.

“Andi Mack” presents many current relatable struggles and situations, in the end giving life lessons that even older people can learn from. Things like teenage pregnancy, interracial couples, and struggles with sexuality are shown in the show. In an episode, Andi’s friend, Buffy, was called to the principal’s office and told that she had to change her natural hair. Inspired by actual cases where girls with natural hair were seen as a distraction and told that their hair that doesn’t comply with the school’s dress codes. Eventually, Buffy stands up for herself, showing how ridiculous it is to make someone change how they naturally look in order to please others. 

Most recently, “Andi Mack” made TV history with having their first character, Cyrus openly come out as gay. In the second season of “Andi Mack,” Cyrus realizes he’s begun to develop feelings for Andi’s crush, Jonah. He slowly begins to understand his feelings and tries to work out how to tell his girlfriend, who he forced himself to like. This is the first time Disney has shown a character’s journey into discovering that they are gay.

Disney has briefly shown gay characters before, in 2014 “Good Luck Charlie” introduced their first openly gay couple, two moms named Susan and Cheryl. The difference with “Andi Mack” is that this will be the first time the main character will have a storyline revolving their self-discovery, receiving a lot of praise from LGBT groups. With more young people coming out and trying to discover who they are, it’s important that they can see themselves represented on television. With this, Andi Mack has opened the doors to a more progressive and inclusive Disney Channel.

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A More Mature Disney?