“Our teen girl characters, Andi and Buffy, are on a journey to figuring out who they are, and I decided that Cyrus should go on that kind of journey too,” “Andi Mack” creator Terri Minsky said in an exclusive statement for Variety. “His starts with a couple of friends who make him feel safe — they don’t judge him, they protect him. Unlike when my generation was growing up, kids today are lucky to live at a time when the world is more accepting — more and more people don’t feel the need to hide who they are. That’s what we all need, no matter who we are — people who love us, and in the case of Cyrus, people who love him before he even fully loves himself. I know there’s a lot of kids out there who think they are weird and different for similar reasons, and I want Buffy to say it to all of them. I want them all to see they are loved and affirmed.”
“Andi Mack,” a Disney Channel live-action series, beat out the animated “Danger & Eggs” from Amazon, “The Loud House” from Nickelodeon, “Steven Universe” from Cartoon Network and Disney Channel’s own “The Emergency Plan” episode of “Doc McStuffins.”
Keiynan Lonsdale and Alexandra Shipp from “Love, Simon” announced the show as the winner and Luna Blaise from “Fresh Off The Boat” served as trophy presented at GLAAD’s “rising stars” luncheon held in Los Angeles, Calif. just ahead of Thursday’s 29th annual GLAAD Media Awards ceremony. The luncheon is designed to empower and invest in the next generation of LGBTQ change makers.
GLAAD added the kids and family programming category to its awards roster this year as a part of its ongoing work to increase the quality and quantity of LGBTQ characters and stories within the world of youth-oriented shows. During the year, GLAAD worked with the Disney Channel both on the story of Cyrus (Joshua Rush) coming out on “Andi Mack” as well as “The Emergency Pact” episode of “Doc McStuffins,” which centered on two moms (voiced by Wanda Sykes and Portia de Rossi).
“GLAAD is committed to advancing representation of LGBTQ people and stories at every stage of our lives, and the groundbreaking addition of the ‘outstanding kids and family programming’ category will raise the bar for current and future LGBTQ inclusion in this hugely popular and impactful genre,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, in a statement. “It’s vital that my two kids see their LGBTQ family portrayed in entertainment and media, and that young people, who are coming out earlier and in greater numbers, see their lives and experiences reflected in thoughtful, loving, and affirming ways.”
GLAAD also presented Rising Stars Grants to three college students, Gio Bravo, Leah Juliett and Shayna Maci Warner, who use media to accelerate LGBTQ acceptance.
The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of LGBTQ community and the issues that affect their lives. The rising stars program was presented by Barilla, Comcast NBCUniversal Telemundo, Delta Air Lines, Turner and Wells Fargo. Tommy Dorfman hosted the event, which featured a performance by Superfruit and appearances by Keiynan Lonsdale, Alexandra Shipp, Isabella Gomez, Nafessa Williams, August Getty and Jazz Jennings.
“Andi Mack” stars Peyton Elizabeth Lee, Sofia Wylie, Asher Angel, Rush, Lilan Bowden and Lauren Tom. The first two seasons of the show premiered last year and a third season has been ordered by the network.