for the kids
We leave it up to our audience to interpret who these characters are and how they relate to them. It’s great that this child has interpreted Gunther this way and that it speaks to him in a way that makes sense for his life. And that’s what we’re trying to do — create a diverse cross section of characters on television that kids can have different access points and entry points to connect with.
—Gary Marsh, president of Disney Channel Worldwide, giving a bland response as to why the Disney Channel will cast sexually and ethnically diverse roles, but when it comes to shows like Shake It Up! the best they’ll do is offer characters that “suggest” gayness, as one 14-year-old fan did [via]