Disney Channel series Andi Mack made history last year when it featured its first ever openly gay character on the network.
The show saw 13-year-old Cyrus admitting to his best friend Buffy that he has a crush on another guy called Jonah in school.
“I feel weird… different,” he said in the groundbreaking scene.
“Cyrus, you’ve always been weird. But you’re no different,” Buffy replied. “You’ll be okay, I promise.”
Joshua Rush who plays Cyrus in the series has spoken about how he felt when preparing for the important scenes.
“I feel the pressure, and I also don’t,” the 16-year-old told People. “I think the most important thing for me when I got this part was to do it right.
“I knew that I wanted to do it justice, because I knew that people were gonna end up seeing this and being like, ‘Wow that’s me, I identify with that [and] I can be who I am now,’ but I also wanted to make sure that it’s not all-encompassing. Like that’s not all of Cyrus’ personality.”
Previously speaking about the importance of playing a gay teen in a Disney show, Rush said: “It’s important that everybody gets representation and that anybody having thoughts on who they are is able to see that represented on TV and to be shown that’s okay
“I think [my character] Cyrus feels different, and I think in our teenage years we all feel different at different times, so it’s important to show anyone that Cyrus is comfortable with who he is and is happy with who he is.”
Andi Mack is the number one show in America in its time slot for kids aged 6 to 14.
“With more and more young people coming out as LGBTQ, Andi Mack is reflecting the lives and lived experiences of so many LGBTQ youth around the country,” said GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis at the time.
Unsurprisingly, One Million Moms immediately launched an anti-gay campaign for people to boycott the show in the United States when the scenes aired.
It has also caused outrage in Africa, with the Film Classification Board Kenya outright banning the episode from being aired.
Disney then decided to pull the show altogether across Sub-Saharan Africa, with a spokesperson saying that the show will be taken off DStv to respect “cultural sensibilities.”
It meant Andi Mack’s gay storyline wasn’t shown in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Angola, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Mauritius and Tanzania.