In a surprising move, Disney+ in the US has announced that it will be streaming the third and final season of queer teen romantic drama Love, Victor.
The show is a spin-off from the hit movie, Love, Simon.
Although made by 20th Television, part of Disney Television Studios., when Love, Victor first appeared in June 2020, the entertainment giant said it was going to air the show on the Hulu streaming service.
Insiders speculated the series, which explores issues around sexuality, was a little too adult for the family-oriented Disney+ in the US (it does appear on Disney+ in other territories).
Love, Victor proved a hit on Hulu, spawning two further seasons. The final season will premiere on both Disney+ and Hulu on June 15, in the middle of Pride Month. Disney+ subscribers will also be able to watch the first two seasons of Love, Victor.
“We are proud of ‘Love, Victor’ and are excited to bring it to the widest possible audience on June 15 by making the full series available on both Disney+ and Hulu to celebrate the final season and LGBTQIA+ Pride Month,” Hulu president Joe Earley said in a statement yesterday.
Love, Victor stars Michael Cimino in the title role. Love, Simon, directed by Greg Berlanti, starred Nick Robinson, who also narrates the spin-off series and has appeared in two episodes.
“When we think about creating stories that reflect the world we live in, which means being inclusive, empowering and authentic, ‘Love, Victor’ represents one of our greatest achievements,” Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment president Craig Erwich said.
“Distributing the show on both platforms will allow us the opportunity to bring Victor’s stories as well as his family and friends’ journeys that have been so beautifully told by our executive producers Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger and our showrunner Brian Tanen to as wide of an audience as possible.”
The news comes amid Disney’s ongoing battle with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over the state’s recently-passed “Don’t Say Gay” bill (House Bill 1557). The legislation aims to stop the discussion of LGBTQ issues with younger kids.
At first, Disney stayed silent on the issue, but as the legislation was passed, and under pressure from employers and campaign groups, Disney said it unequivocally did not support the bill.
Disney is one of the biggest employers in Florida thanks to its theme park in Orlando, and it also regularly makes large contributions to lawmakers across the political divide.
DeSantis has since blasted Disney for its stance, and last week acted to strip Walt Disney World of its self-governing status. The park has a long-standing agreement with the state, whereby it sits within its own Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID). DeSantis is now seeking to dissolve the district, in an act many see as retaliation against Disney’s criticism of “Don’t Say Gay”.
However, this week, it’s been speculated that DeSantis’ action may be blocked in the courts. Reedy Creek issued a statement highlighting the fact it holds $2billion in bond debts, and if it is forced to dissolve, that debt would then be passed on to the counties of Orange and Osceola Counties, prompting a significant increase in the tax bill of residents. Legal observers also believe Disney could take the matter to court on First Amendment grounds.