Rebecca Sugar blamed “bigoted countries” for the delay.
Rebecca Sugar, one of the main animators on Steven Universe, has said there was a lot of internal fighting to broadcast the same-sex wedding between Ruby and Sapphire, and put the blame on trying to appeal to “bigoted countries.”
Ruby and Sapphire form one of the Crystal Gems, Garnet, through love. The contrasting personalities of Ruby and Sapphire eventually question their relationship, but near the end of the fifth season they recommit themselves through marriage.
However, speaking to Reuters, Rebecca Sugar, who describes themself as gender expansive, and mostly identifies as non-binary, spoke about how animators had battled for years to try and include the wedding.
As the show has to appeal to children around the globe, some countries have stricter regulations. “We are held to standards of extremely bigoted countries,” she explained. “It took several years of fighting internally to get the wedding to happen.
“There are people who see what we’re doing as insidious and … they’re ignorant. So much bigotry is based on the idea that LGBTQ content is something inherently adult, which is entirely false.”
Sugar also spoke of the importance of LGBTQ representation on television screens, especially with LGBTQ rights across the globe under threat. “Right now what is so critical is just that queer youth understand adults in the world know they exist, appreciate they exist,” they said.
“I really hope the show is a stepping stone to action and to the ability to find one another.”
And speaking of some of the difficulties they’ve faced because of their bisexual identity, they added: “It was also difficult for me as a bisexual person whose own queer experience was so delegitimized over the course of my life. I couldn’t even say that this was true for me.”
Children’s television has started to become a bit more LGBTQ-inclusive, with Arthur airing a same-sex wedding in the premiere of its 22nd season – yes, it is still going.
And in June, streaming service Hulu introduced, The Bravest Knight, a show with two lead LGBTQ characters. The series follows Sir Cedric, and his husband Prince Andrew as Sir Cedric relays to their adopted daughter, Nia how he became a knight.
Film is also getting better, with a small lesbian scene being featured in Toy Story 4. At the start of the movie, when Woody’s new owner Bonnie goes for her first day of kindergarten, there’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene where one child is dropped off by two moms. Later, the moms return to pick up their child and give them a hug.