The Advocate July/Aug 2022
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Hilary Duff Hints That Gay Themes Stalled Lizzie Reboot on Disney+

Hilary Duff

Hilary Duff has thrown shade at Disney — and sparked speculation as to the reasons why the Lizzie McGuire reboot has stalled.

In a Wednesday post on Instagram Story, the 32-year-old actress shared a screenshot of a headline from The Advocate that read, "Love, Simon TV Show Pulled From Disney+ as It's Not 'Family-Friendly.'"

"Sounds familiar..." Duff wrote in the caption.

As background, Disney+ had sparked controversy this week for booting the Love, Simon television adaptation, Love, Victor, to Hulu after deeming it not "family-friendly" enough for its eponymous streaming service. 

Variety, citing unnamed sources, reported that "Disney felt many issues explored on the show, including alcohol use and sexual exploration, would not fit in with the family-friendly content on Disney Plus."

Many LGBTQ social media users took issue with the change of platforms. Disney has a long history of excluding queer characters from its children's entertainment (though it has an LGBTQ character in its forthcoming Pixar film, Onward). And some worried that a show inspired by a relatively chaste young-adult novel about a closeted gay teen was suffering the same fate.

Likewise, Duff's ellipsis, while cryptic, led fans to connect the dots.

Lizzie McGuire, a teen dramedy, first aired on the Disney Channel from 2001 to 2004. Disney+ announced it had picked up a revival in August 2019, with original creator Terri Minsky at the helm as showrunner. Minsky is also known as the creator of Andi Mack, a (recently canceled) show that made history for being the first to bring a gay main character to the Disney Channel

The planned reboot fast-forwarded to Lizzie, played by Duff, living as an assistant to an interior decorator in New York on the eve of turning 30. In addition to featuring the return of actors Adam Lamberg, Hallie Todd, Robert Carradine, and Jake Thomas, Lizzie made headlines in October that one of its main characters would be gay. Production began in November 2019.

However, in January, a Disney spokesperson said Minsky would be leaving the show due to creative differences: "Fans have a sentimental attachment to Lizzie McGuire and high expectations for a new series. After filming two episodes, we concluded that we need to move in a different creative direction and are putting a new lens on the series."

Representatives for Disney+ confirmed to Deadline Wednesday that, despite Duff's message, the Lizzie McGuire reboot is not dead,

Tags: television, Youth

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