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‘Good Luck Charlie’ criticized for LGBT couple

Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor

Published: Monday, February 3, 2014

Updated: Monday, February 3, 2014 23:02

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The hit television show “Good Luck Charlie” broke barriers and caused an uproar Sunday by introducing a same sex couple on the children’s sitcom.

In the groundbreaking episode, Charlie Duncan (Mia Talerico) has a play date with her preschool friend who happens to have two lesbian moms. The Disney Channel announced the decision to feature a same-sex couple back in June 2013, and they finally delivered the message with their usual mix of light-hearted comedy.

The segment including the lesbian couple may have only lasted a little more than a minute, but it riled up viewers on both ends of the spectrum.

According to Talerico’s Instagram, which is maintained by her mother, the five-year-old star received death threats from online trolls.

Some threats even warranted the toddler to “kill herself” and to “die bitch,” according to the Huffington Post.  

The Huffington Post reported that the Los Angeles Police Department’s Threat Management Department is looking into the messages in order to identify the source.

Another group that was upset over the introduction of a lesbian couple was One Million Moms, a conservative group of mothers that tries to make changes in family programing due to themes and messages they deem harmful to youth. The group released a statement on their website about “Good Luck Charlie” warning the Disney Channel that they will take action if they proceed to air the episode.

“If "Good Luck Charlie" goes through with introducing LGBT content, then the floodgates will be opened for all programs on the Disney Channel - a trend that will be almost impossible to stop,” the statement said.

One Million Moms is the same group that unsuccessfully attempted to remove Ellen Degeneres as the spokeswomen for J.C. Penny after they declared her lesbian relationship with wife Portia de Rossi would corrupt children’s perspective of marriage.

Despite hateful messages, the controversial episode also brought much praise from critics and celebrities alike.

According to Digital Spy, the Disney Channel consulted with child development experts before shooting the episode.

“[The show was] developed to be relevant to kids and families around the world. And to reflect themes of diversity and inclusiveness,” a Disney representative said.

Miley Cyrus, former child star of Disney Channel show “Hannah Montana” and an active supporter of equality, tweeted support for “Good Luck Charlie” and praised the network on breaking equality barriers.

“I commend Disney for making this step into the light of this generation. They control…so much of what kids think! Life isn’t bright sets & wardrobe & kids becoming superstars! This is INSPIRING,” Cyrus tweeted.

Ross Murphy, the director of news for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), expressed gratitude for Disney’s decision to “include all families in their programming.”

The William’s Institute published a study concluding that same-sex couples do not affect their children any differently than heterosexual couples. According to the study, about 22,000 same sex couples are raising 16,000 adoptive children in the United States, and they perform the same in education and emotional, mental and physical wellbeing as children raised by straight parents.

Sam Houston State University Biomedical Sciences major and Gamma Sigma Kappa President Cody Brennen said he is excited the Disney Channel aired the episode and claimed it is exposure that is “needed.”

“We are in a day and age where plenty of children are being raised by same-sex couples, and it’s beneficial for kids to see real life diversity because it helps them instill acceptance,” Brennen said.

“Good Luck Charlie” aired its pilot episode in April 2010 and is currently in its fourth and final season. The show will finish airing Feb. 16.

“Good Luck Charlie” airs Sundays at 7 p.m.

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