There's a whirlwind of controversy brewing over a popular children's show.
Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama are under fire for their roles as executive producers of a Netflix cartoon, "Ada Twist, Scientist," which featured a gay wedding in a recent episode.
The show, designed to spark an interest in science among preschoolers, has aired four seasons since its 2021 debut. Season 4, Episode 11, "Blue River Wedding," has become the center of a social media storm. The episode portrays young children organizing the wedding of their male teachers, "Sensei Dave" and "Jiu Jitsu Joe," after their plans are disrupted by a tornado.
The Obamas' involvement in the Netflix cartoon "Ada Twist, Scientist" has brought them under scrutiny. The show's episode "Blue River Wedding" features students planning and celebrating their teacher's gay wedding, involving characters Sensei Dave and Jiu Jitsu Joe. This portrayal has stirred a strong reaction, especially on platforms like Twitter, where the account Libs of TikTok highlighted the episode's content.
Critics, including parents and social media users, argue that the episode is inappropriate for its preschool audience. They express concerns over the potential indoctrination and grooming of children through such content. These reactions are fueled by the Obamas' high-profile status and Netflix's perceived political affiliations.
Actress and education advocate Sam Sorbo said, “Your kids are being indoctrinated.” This sentiment echoes the broader worry about the impact of LGBTQ+ themes in children's media, especially in a politically charged environment.
The controversy has drawn varied reactions from different corners of the social spectrum. A parent shared with Libs of TikTok their shock and horror upon discovering their child watching the episode. This reaction highlights the growing concern among parents regarding the content in children’s programming.
Even members of the LGBTQ+ community have voiced unease. A social media user identifying as gay criticized the show, stating, “I’m gay. This propagandizing of children needs to stop.” This underscores the complexity of the issue, transcending simple partisan lines.
Amid these criticisms, some voices have pointed to Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings' political donations as a potential influence on the show's content. An anonymous comment highlighted Hastings as "one of the heaviest Democratic liberal donors," suggesting a political motive behind the episode's themes.
The episode's plot, centered around a tornado disrupting a gay wedding, which the children strive to save, is more than a simple story. It has become a flashpoint in the ongoing debate over LGBTQ+ representation in children's media. The involvement of figures like the Obamas has only intensified this discussion.
New Zealand politician Elliot Ikilei weighed in, stating, “Yes. They do target children.” This perspective aligns with the broader political and cultural debates surrounding education and children's programming in today's society.
Amidst the uproar, a concerned viewer's comment encapsulates a common sentiment, “Leave the kids alone.” This plea reflects a growing desire among many to shield children from complex social and political issues at a young age.
The episode of "Ada Twist, Scientist," produced by the Obamas, has sparked a significant debate on the appropriateness of LGBTQ+ themes in children's programming.