Jun 27, 2013

Victorious: Almost a Gay Victory

Like all tv programs aimed at a juvenile audience, Nickelodeon's Victorious (2010-2013) was set in a decidedly gay-free world: a high school for the performing arts in Hollywood (yeah, right, I'll believe that).

 Of course, the producers, writers, directors, and actors all knew that gay people existed, and they threw in occasional hints.

A love-hate gay subtext  between Tori (Victoria Justice, right) and frenemy Jade (Elizabeth Guilles, second from left), in spite of their respective boyfriends (and the rumor that Victoria Justice is homophobic).

The metrosexual Beck (far left), played by Avan Jogia, #5 on my list of Unexpected Nickelodeon Teen Hunks, who co-founded the gay-allied Straight But Not Narrow group with his bud Josh Hutcherson.

Leon Thomas III (second from right), who played Andre, is another Hollywood teen who is Straight But Not Narrow.  Here's a link to a video he made for the SBNN youtube page.

Ventriloquist Robbie, who doesn't really like girls, in spite of his girl-dating episodes, is played by Matt Bennett, who posted his own SBNN video.

Compare the utter silence about gay people from the cast of ICarly.

The nerd Sinjin (Michael Eric Reid) has a fairly obvious crush on him.

Gay-friendly cast, gay subtexts, gay references.  By this point, we have to start blaming the audience for a stubborn refusal to know.

When one of the teen characters mentioned visiting "my uncle and uncle" in San Francisco, fan boards went wild with hysterical protests that she couldn't have meant a gay couple.
"She has two uncles in San Francisco.  They're obviously two brothers living together, not gay!"
"She just means that she's going to visit one uncle, and then another one.  Not that they're gay!"
"Just because you live in San Francisco doesn't mean you're gay!"

And my favorite:
"Get a life!  This is a children's show!"
If it's aimed at an audience of kids, then by definition, they believe,  it can't have any references to gay people.

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