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Disney’s ‘Baymax!’ Draws Right Wing Ire for Scene Involving Trans Man

Critics of the show have accused Disney of trying to "re-engineer the discourse around kids and sexuality."

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Baymax!” returns to the fantastical city of San Fransokyo where the affable, inflatable, inimitable healthcare companion robot, Baymax (voice of Scott Adsit), sets out to do what he was programmed to do: help others. The series of healthcare capers introduces extraordinary characters who need Baymax’s signature approach to healing in more ways than they realize. In episode 2, Baymax urges a reluctant Kiko (voice of Emily Kuroda) to ease her aches and face her fears. “Baymax!” streams exclusively on Disney+ starting June 29, 2022. © 2022 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

“Baymax!”.

DISNEY

Another day, another moral panic about Disney using cartoons to lure children down a path of sexual degeneracy.

In a turn of events that seems inevitable in hindsight, various right-wing trolls are speaking out against “Baymax!,” a new Disney+ series based on the inflatable robot from “Big Hero Six.” The spinoff follows the eponymous robot as he leaves his superhero life behind and returns to his normal job as a healthcare professional in San Fransokyo. Each of the six episodes sees him traveling to a different part of the city to help people with various ailments, providing plenty of life advice and companionship in the process.

The show was intended to be a wholesome vehicle to tell stories about healing people’s bodies and minds at the same time. Creator Don Hall has been open about the fact that it was inspired by vintage medical dramas featuring kind doctors who always solve their patients’ problems.

“What I thought we could do with the series is actually just focus on Baymax and one patient at a time,” he said. “I remembered back as a kid watching medical procedurals where [in each] episode there’s a patient who has a thing, and the compassionate doctors end up healing that patient,” he said.

But in certain corners of the Internet, the show is provoking a very different reaction. An episode in which Baymax helps a young girl navigate her first period has become a subject of right-wing outrage because of a scene where he takes her to the store to buy feminine hygiene products. While at the store, they encounter a man wearing a transgender flag shirt who is also buying similar products for himself.

Certain segments of the online right-wing media complex, particularly those who have previously accused Disney of “grooming” children, have had a field day with the scene. One of the most notable right-wing anti-Disney voices, Christopher Rufo, was one of the first to weigh in.

Many other right-wing activists followed Rufo’s lead, accusing Disney of “grooming” children by briefly showing a trans man on screen. It’s far from the first time that Disney has grappled with far-right outrage. A brief same-sex kiss in “Lightyear” sparked months of performative outrage, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently picked a fight with the media giant over its opposition to Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The media giant has become a favorite enemy in various far-right circles in recent months, a pattern that does not appear to be changing any time soon.

“Baymax!” is now streaming on Disney+.

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