The television network Disney Junior is receiving criticism for a storyline featured on a recent episode of one of its hit children’s shows involving a main character deciding to cross-dress.
In a recent episode of the “Muppet Babies,” which aired July 23, Gonzo wanted to go to the royal ball that his friends were hosting dressed as a princess but did not feel comfortable doing so because he did not want to defy traditional gender roles.
“Muppet Babies” chronicles the lives of the legendary Muppets created by the late puppeteer Jim Henson during their toddler years.
When Gonzo indicated a desire to “wear one of those princess dresses” to the royal ball, the girls told him that he was “not supposed to wear a dress” and instead wear a knight costume like the rest of the boys.
Upon finding a dejected Gonzo, his “Fairy Ratfather” grants him his wish. And with the wave of a magic wand, Gonzo immediately dons a princess dress and glass slippers.
Gonzo arrived at the party dressed in the costume, introducing himself as “Gonzorella.”
His friends failed to realize that Gonzorella and Gonzo are the same, with Miss Piggy describing the newcomer as “a mysterious new princess.” The other attendees credited “Gonzorella” for adding life to the otherwise dull party.
Because the Muppet abandoned the royal ball just as he was slated to return to his normal form at “cake-o-clock,” his friends never realized that Gonzo was, in fact, Gonzorella.
After the royal ball, Gonzo met with his friends, who lamented that he missed the occasion because they “met the most amazing princess, but they ran away.” When Miss Piggy pointed out that “all they left behind" was a glass slipper, Gonzo informed his friends that “there’s something I need to tell you.”
“The princess who came to your ball tonight was me,” he explained as he grabbed the glass slipper and transformed back into a princess. When Miss Piggy asked why he didn’t say so, Gonzo said, “because you all expected me to look a certain way."
“I don’t want you to be upset with me," he added.
Miss Piggy apologized, proclaiming that “it wasn’t very nice of us to tell you what to wear to our ball.”
The other girl, Summer, assured Gonzo that “you’re our friend, and we love you any way you are.”
After the episode aired, conservatives quickly panned Disney Junior for exposing the LGBT agenda to small children.
“I can’t believe I’m tweeting this but … they are pushing the trans agenda on children via muppet babies,” conservative commentator Owens wrote in a tweet Sunday. “This is sick and PERVERTED. Everyone should be disturbed by predatory cartoons meant to usher children into gender dysphoria.”
The plotline involving Gonzo becoming Gonzorella is not the first time "The Muppets" franchise or Disney has faced criticism for promoting LGBT themes or adult content in children’s programming.
The previous reboot of “The Muppets,” which aired on ABC, was opposed by the Parents Television Council and One Million Moms for including material not suitable for children every three minutes and 38 seconds during its first four episodes.
In a previous interview with The Christian Post, PTC President Tim Winter elaborated on some of the concerning content in the ABC reboot, which premiered in 2015.
The first four episodes featured characters getting “inebriated” in a bar, Miss Piggy discussing “breast augmentations and butt lifts,” the character Animal implying that “he’s been with ‘too many women’ in ‘too many towns,’” and Miss Piggy asking another character to “sex it to me.”
Although ABC, which is owned by Disney, removed the showrunner who had talked about his desire to integrate adult content into the children’s show following pushback, the show was canceled after just one season.
Another reboot of a well-respected children’s show, “Rugrats," premiered earlier this year on the streaming service Paramount Plus. The show also sought to differentiate itself from its predecessor as a “more liberally intended show” by reintroducing the mother of two of the main baby characters as a lesbian single mother.
Disney Plus took a similar course, announcing that its reboot of the children’s animated series “The Proud Family,” slated to premiere next year, will include a character with two dads. The expansion of LGBT activism in children’s programming comes as the LGBT advocacy organization GLAAD has called for 20% of all television characters to be LGBT by 2025.
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org