Phil Vischer, co-creator of hit series, “Veggie Tales,” says that it’s only a matter of time before Christian content creators will have to begin addressing LGBTQ issues from a biblical perspective on their shows.
What are the details?
In an interview with the Christian Post, Vischer said that because children are being inundated with LGBTQ-friendly programming in films and on television, it is important to feature both sides of the topic.
“Parents are definitely going to have to deal with a growing LGBT presence in children’s media,” he said. “It’s going to show up more and more as the world has decided that LGBT issues are in the same categories as race and civil rights issues. So to say you shouldn’t have a same-sex couple on ‘Sesame Street’ is the equivalent of saying you shouldn’t have a black couple on ‘Sesame Street.'”
Addressing a recent episode of PBS kids’ show “Arthur,” in which a main character in the cartoon marries his same-sex partner, Vischer explained that the episode was a “shot heard through the Christian parenting world.”
“The most striking thing about that episode of ‘Arthur’ wasn’t that they thought it was time to introduce kids to a gay marriage,” he explained. “It was the reaction of all the kids on the show. None of them asked questions about why two men were getting married. Their reaction was ‘Oh, OK! Great!'”
Vischer said the most problematic component was not that it was featured, but that it wasn’t even explained as a notion to question.
“It’s such a strong message of, ‘Well, kids, of course you’re fine with gay marriage, because there’s nothing to question about it,'” he said. “That’s a little more concerning.”
Vischer added that it will be just a “matter of time” before Christian creators will have to address the issue, which is virtually uncharted territory in Christian kids’ programming.
“[R]ight now, I think it would be difficult for a couple of reasons,” he said. “First: the nuance of how to treat LGBT issues isn’t agreed upon within the Church. Secondly, some parents may want to have that talk with their kids. It’s tricky because it’s so divisive. It would be hard to do it in a way that works and matches everyone’s expectations.”
What will Vischer do?
As for Vischer, he’s in no rush to produce such content, for fear of doing it “poorly.”
“It’s still so controversial,” he admitted. “I’m not sure what I would add that would be helpful enough in the conversation that it’s worth the number of people I could offend.”
Vischer, however, refuses to cave to media pressure despite rapid changes to mainstream programming.
“If I get pressure from Hollywood to show two men getting married because we’ve all decided it’s right and correct, my pushback is ‘No, I won’t.’ Because that’s not what I believe is best for kids. It’s more about what we show as normal rather than explicitly showing something and saying, ‘That’s wrong.’ I’m portraying the positive rather than the negative,” he insisted.