The much-anticipated Rugrats reboot just got that much better as it’s been revealed that Betty, Phil and Lil’s mom, will be raising her kids while living her truth. Natalie Morales, who is voicing the character on the CG-animated series confirmed to the A.V. Club that the mom of twins — who had been married to Howard in the original series — is now an out and proud gay woman.
Morales, who shared that “anyone who watched the original show may have had an inkling Betty was a member of the alphabet mafia,” said that bringing queer representation, even in a cartoon format, is monumental.
“And yeah, Betty is a fictional cartoon, but even cartoons were hugely influential for me as a kid, and if I’d been watching Rugrats and seen Betty casually talking about her ex-girlfriend, I think at least a part of me would have felt like things might be okay in the future.”
Representation is such a buzzword these days, but it makes sense because folks are finally recognizing that we all bring different things to the table. That’s a good thing. Our perspectives in life are informed by what we’ve experienced and how we identify ourselves as we walk through life. For our children, it’s vital for them to see, understand, even question, but especially respect differences — whether someone is from a different country, is of a different race, speaks a different language, or has a unique family structure or a distinct sexual orientation.
“Betty is a single mom with her own business who has twins and still has time to hang out with her friends and her community,” Morales explained to A.V. Club. “I think it’s just so great because examples of living your life happily and healthily as an out queer person is just such a beacon for young queer people who may not have examples of that.”
Similarly, the highly rated animated television series The Loud House on Nickelodeon, which debuted in 2016 made headlines that same year with fictional supporting characters, Howard and Harold McBride. The McBrides are ground-breaking because they were the first gay married couple to be featured in a Nickelodeon animated series. The Loud House revolves around the chaotic everyday life of a boy named Lincoln Loud, who is the middle child and only son in a large family of 11 children. The McBrides are notably also an interracial couple. In May 2017, the characters of Lincoln Loud and Clyde McBride were featured on the front cover of Variety as an example of diverse characters in children’s television.
We’re so here for this. Regardless of our own sexual orientation, it’s so key that different lifestyles are represented in real-life and yes, even in the toys kids play with and the animation entertainment that kids consume the most. Kids who feel seen, then learn that who they are is exactly who they are meant to be.
The Paramount+ Rugrats show, which began steaming on May 27, is an updated version of the 1991 hit show.
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