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“Doc McStuffins” Creator Speaks on How Being Gay Shapes the Way She Creates Characters

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“Doc McStuffins” is a very popular show on Disney that has gotten the support of a variety of audiences with different backgrounds.  The African American community is especially proud of the show, since it features a black girl as the main character.  The young girl on the show, played by Kiara Muhammad, is African American, and is also a “physician,” who helps sick stuffed animals get better.

The lesbian-oriented website, AfterEllen.com did an interview with Chris Nee, the creator and executive producer for the show.  She is also a proud lesbian.  The website says that Nee’s sexual orientation led them to reach out to gay/lesbian media to promote the show.  The interview also features an interesting exchange during which the creator and the interviewer discuss subtle ways that the show teaches children to view those who are “different.”

AE: Even though this is a kid’s show and we’re not going to see gay storylines but how do you instill subtle messages about acceptance and how people are different? Is that always in the back of your head when doing these shows?
CN: Definitely. My son [Theo] has two moms and it’s a huge part of my life as a human being and it’s been an incredible part of the way that I see the world and the way I see characters and the way I want to create characters who are incredibly accepting of each other and whatever is happening in their life. I think that I work very hard on creating the family of friends. I like to create a world that’s a world of friends who are just extraordinary at supporting each other in whatever they’ve doing — my own biological family is an amazing family but I think that classic story of gay kids is that you end up creating that family of friends and that’s always reflected in my work.

This discussion is interesting, since many of the supporters of the show are African American women, who are also very religious.  Will this increase their acceptance of the gay community or lead to a backlash against the show?