The Cartoon Network is the latest company to celebrate LGBT Pride Month, and it's using one of its most popular animated shows to do it.
The network’s Facebook and Twitter accounts posted a message June 2 alongside a picture of the Powerpuff Girls telling viewers, “We want to wish everyone a HAPPY PRIDE and encourage all of our LGBTQ+ fans to stand proud all year long!”
Powerpuff Girls consistently ranks as one of the most-liked shows among viewers. The social media posts showed eight characters from the show standing underneath a rainbow with the message, “Happy Pride.” The Twitter message includes the hashtags “#pride #happypride #powerpuffyourself #pridemonth #powerpuffgirls.”
We want to wish everyone a HAPPY PRIDE and encourage all of our LGBTQ+ fans to stand proud all year long! 💖🦄🌈✨— Cartoon Network (@cartoonnetwork) June 2, 2019
#pride #happypride #powerpuffyourself #pridemonth #powerpuffgirls pic.twitter.com/hR8ZJ9ry1D
Viewers who closely follow the network’s shows likely weren’t surprised.
The former series Clarence included a character with two moms. Steven Universe, which is still on the air, showed a same-sex marriage proposal in 2018 between two characters, Ruby and Sapphire.
Warner Bros. owns Cartoon Network.
Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar said such characters are needed.
“By including LGBTQIA content and characters in G-rated entertainment for kids, you tell kids when they’re young that they belong in this world. You can’t not tell them that,” Sugar told Entertainment Weekly. “There can’t be only a certain group of kids who are told someone will love you by all the entertainment that they see. It’s just so unfair.”
Cartoon Network isn’t the only channel with gay characters in children’s shows. The Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and PBS all have broadcast episodes with gay characters.
Earlier this year, when PBS’ Arthur aired a same-sex wedding, Glenn T. Stanton of Focus on the Family encouraged networks to stick to issues that are not controversial in children’s shows. Stanton is the director of global family formation studies at Focus on the Family.
“Parents are very tired of their kids’ cartoons engaging in radical political messaging rather than simply teaching universally held values such as kindness, hard work, cooperation and friendship,” Stanton told Christian Headlines. “These elites who think they know what is best for the rest of us wonder why their influence is shrinking. It’s not hard to figure out.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Cartoon Network
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.