Last Friday, the Disney Channel made history by featuring their first-ever coming out story. On last week’s episode of pre-teen drama Andi Mack, Cyrus (played by Joshua Rush) comes out to his friend Buffy. It’s a moving scene — but, sadly, thanks to this Andy Mack Kenya ban, many Kenyan kids won’t see it.
For a bit of context, 13-year-old Cyrus is friends with the show’s titular heroine Andi. Andi has a crush on local cutie Jonah; Cyrus has been totally supportive of her crush. Or, at least, he is until he sees Jonah and Andi actually kiss and realizes he’s jealous — he actually has a crush on Jonah too. Feeling odd about the entire thing, Cyrus goes to the local cafe to meet his friend Buffy. That’s where the scene begins….
While American kids got to see Cyrus’ coming out, Kenyan kids will be denied. This isn’t out of character for Kenya, however. They’ve banned a number of kids’ shows in the past for featuring homosexuality, including The Loud House and Steven Universe. (They also banned Hey Arnold!, not for featuring a gay character, but because Arnold’s Grandpa’s head “is in the shape of a penis.” What.)
Ezekiel Mutua, the head of the Kenya Film Classification Board, said:
When it comes to protecting children from exposure to bad content we are resolute and unapologetic. Gay content will not air in Kenya, period. The institution of family is sacrosanct. It’s the basic unit of society and it’s derived from a union between a man and a woman. Any other doctrine, teaching or information is a heresy and a travesty.
In February 2017, Kenya also banned Star vs. the Forces of Evil. That show featured the very first same-sex kiss on the Disney Channel. It was a brief scene lasting only three seconds — but that was enough. On banning Star, the KFCB added “In yet another episode, two lesbian couples are seen cuddling.”
Thankfully, we have the KFCB to protect Kenya’s children from the horrors of lesbian cuddling.