GLAAD confirmed the news at a panel titled “Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Trends on TV Today” at the Television Critics Association press tour. Sykes is no stranger to children’s television, having signed on to play a recurring role on “Vampirina,” the newest show from “Doc McStuffins” creator Chris Nee. De Rossi recently voiced a character on the less family-friendly “Family Guy.”
The series follows Dottie “Doc” McStuffins, who wants to be a doctor, just like her mother. Using her magic stethoscope, she is able to bring her toys and stuffed animals to life, and practice her healing skills on their ailments. She gives them check-ups and diagnoses them from her “Big Book of Boo Boos.” Each episode includes original music, and ends with advice to viewers about staying healthy.
Created and executive produced by Nee, who previously wrote for “Blue’s Clues” and is an out and proud lesbian, the series has already broken barriers by featuring an African American girl as the lead. Melissa Harris-Perry praised the show early on in its run, and its progressive topic even caught the attention of First Lady Michelle Obama. The First Lady played herself on the show in 2015, appointing Doc the official “toy doctor” of the White House.
— Common Sense Media (@CommonSense) July 19, 2017
The LGBT-inclusive storyline is a first for Disney Junior, and only the second time a same-sex family has appeared on the Disney Channel. The penultimate episode of the live action series “Good Luck Charlie” also featured a character with two moms. That episode aired in 2014.
Not everyone is pleased with the newest addition to the McStuffins universe, however, as news of the upcoming episode prompted ultra-conservative group One Million Moms to call for a boycott. But the majority of the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
In the episode, titled “The Emergency Plan,” Doc must help reunite a family that gets separated by an earthquake because they do not have an emergency plan. The episode is set to air the morning of August 5.