‘Muppet Babies’ reintroduces Gonzo as gender non-conforming


Fancy: “Gonzo-rella” wears a gem adorned dress in recent episode of “Muppet Babies”, a move that upset some, but was praised by others for their non-conforming attire.

“Muppet Babies,” Disney Junior’s remake of the 1976 classic, has recently gone under fire for having a character, Gonzo, wear a dress in the episode titled “Gonzo-rella.”

“Everyone there’s something I need to tell you,” Gonzo said. “The princess who came to your ball tonight was me.”

This was clearly a controversial take, quickly catching the attention of several convservative media networks. Candace Owens was one of the first main-stream members of the media to voice her opinion in it. 

“I can’t believe I’m tweeting this but they are pushing the trans agenda on children via Muppet Babies,” Owens said in a tweet on Aug. 13 2021. 

However, this is not the first time children’s television has put in diverse characters to propel a storyline. In 2019, the TV show “Aruthur,” presented the wedding of Mr. Ratburn, who got married to another man. Even earlier this year, “Blue’s Clues & You,” showcased a pride parade. 

“Hey Blue, look at all these families,” special guest of the show and professional drag queen Nina West said. “It’s time for a pride parade.” 

Nevertheless, individuals who have more traditional viewpoints are still arguing that including Gonzo-rella in the episode was more harmful than good. They even attempted to diagnose the character on live television. 

“I don’t know if Gonzo’s a cross-dresser or transgender, but if Gonzo is transgender, that is a disorder,” Newsmax host Greg Kelly said. 

It is important to keep in mind, that while Gonzo decided to wear a dress they never explicitly said that they were transgender, or that they wanted to be a girl. They just decided that they wanted to wear a dress to the ball. In fact, Miss. Piggy, who talks to Gonzo, uses gender neutral pronouns to refer to them, not anything gender specific.

There are multiple things that bother me about this whole ordeal. However, the one that bothers me the most is that the some of the same people that were screaming about how terrible cancel culture is when it came to harmful slurs in Dr. Suess’ books are now yelling that we need to cancel “Muppet Babies,” for something that is not harming anyone.

“First they outlaw Dr. Suess, and now they want to tell us what to say,” House of Representatives minority leader Kevin MCarthy said.

My question is how can one be considered ‘cancel culture’, in the negative sense, while the other is allowed because it is being claimed to harm children? More than that, how is seeing representation in children’s television shows a bad thing? 

“Children learn a great deal from what they see represented in the media and they look for characters with whom they can identify,” Laura Edwards-Leaper, a child clinical psychologist said. 

Even though, in my opinion, this is an amazing step in the right direction, there is still a lot more that needs to be done in terms of representation in children’s television programs. From a personal standpoint, I would love to see more neurodivergent characters as recurring cast members, or even series regulars. It is important that every child sees themselves pictured in the media. 

“I think for a long time visibility and the presence of an LGBTQ character felt like such a huge step in the right direction, but it is no longer enough,” Toman said. “We need to reflect on our cultural shifts and create platforms for all different kinds of people.”