Why Disney+ moving Love, Simon to Hulu is a good thing
In 2018, we saw the emergence of many coming of age romantic comedy movie tropes with movies like The Kissing Booth, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Sierra Burgess is a Loser and Love, Simon all being released within an 8-month period.
All of these movies had a different aspect that would allow a vast range of people to relate to the characters even if they were no longer in high school.
In February, Love, Simon gave audiences a new view on a coming of age story as it follows the coming out story of a teenage boy in high school. His journey of coming out was faced with a fear different then what people normally think of when coming out. Simon was not afraid of being gay, but, rather, was scared of his life changing because of his announcement.
This is definitely a new way that the film industry had taken on the coming out experience, as the only stories of coming out that I had heard, whether as a B-plot in movies or on television shows, were of the individuals feeling more ashamed of being gay and then at the end of the movie coming to terms with themselves.
The movie protrayed Simon’s story through the digital age and allows the viewers to see that just because a person comes out does not mean that they change who they are.
Love, Simon was the first major studio film that followed the coming out of a LGBTQ+ teen, and it was announced that there was going to be a spin-off series on Disney+ in the year 2020.
The spin-off, which is to be set in the same universe, was going to focus on a new student named Victor who was also going through a journey of self-acceptance much like Simon was in the film.
Disney was supportive of the spin-off and it was originally stated by the vice president of content at Disney+ that it would be an honour to bring a story within the Love, Simon universe to the service.
However, it was recently announced that the spin-off now entitled Love, Victor would not find its place on Disney+, but Hulu instead.
Hulu is reportedly a better fit for the series as Love, Simon had some mature subject matter that Disney deemed to not be “family friendly“.
A source close to the production states that the spin-off being relocated to Hulu did not have anything to do with the LGBTQ+ themes, but rather the film having sexual content and underage alcohol consumption.
I was confused about this statement for two main reasons. Firstly, I was confused by Disney saying that Love, Victor was moved because it had sexual content.Although I do not know the content within the Love, Victor series, Love, Simon only had two kisses within it, which I think is the same amount of PDA that was present in the High School Musical movies.
Secondly, I am confused as to how this series was not deemed as “family friendly,” but movies like Avengers: Endgame is, even though Thor literally beheads Thanos and they do not steer clear of showing that and other violence.
Love, Victor is not the only series coming to Hulu that had originally been a Disney+ series, as the series High Fidelity staring Zoe Kravitz was also moved to Hulu before its’ premiere, and it looks like it will not be the last as well.
On Feb. 29, 2020 Hilary Duff went to Instagram and posted that she actually wanted Disney to allow the series that she was filming (a series which follows the life of Lizzie McGuire as a 30-year-old) to move to Hulu as well.
Duff had stated in her post that she’d “be doing a disservice to everyone by limiting the realities of a 30-year old’s journey to live under the ceiling of a PG rating. It’s important to me that just as her experiences as a preteen/teenager navigating life were authentic, her next chapters are equally as real and relatable.”
It was not until after I read her post that I changed my mind regarding Disney moving the series over to Hulu.
Although I do not necessarily agree with Disney stating that the Love, Victor series was not family friendly, I do think that the series should not live under what Duff calls the “ceiling of a PG rating.”
The experiences that many teens face are not PG, and I think if Disney kept this program on its own streaming platform, it would be doing a disservice to the viewers.
Stories like that of Love, Victor need to be real and authentic; they need to allow individuals to relate to the characters and see both their struggles as well as the triumphs.
A lot of articles surrounding this topic begin with saying Love, Simon removed from Disney+ as it does not have “family friendly” content. I originally believed that Disney did not want to have a story of an LGBTQ+ teen on their platform, even though that supposedly had nothing to do with it.
I think that having Love, Victor on Hulu now is the best option, if it will allow for Victor to share an authentic story that people will then be able to relate to.