Jan 19, 2017

The Disney Channel's Gay Programming Blocks

Like Nickelodeon, the Disney Channel airs its teencoms in programming blocks interspliced with short segments: reviews of Disney movies (always thumbs up!), interviews with Disney Channel stars, exhortations to eat right or lend a "helping hand," and some fictional segments.  But whereas the Nickelodeon segments are hosted by adults, the Disney Channel segments are hosted by teenagers, giving gay kids hunky peers to crush on.

Movie Surfers (1997-) has teenage hosts, one boy and one girl, reviewing children's movies, and sometimes interviewing the stars, touring the sets, and so on.  The current male host is Drew Osborne (left), who is gay or gay-friendly, seeing hanging out at Gay Pride events.  There is a long list of former hosts, including Drake Kemper (a Disney Channel regular), Matt Kubacki, and Andrew Eiden (of Complete Savages).

Disney 365 (2006-) sticks with the Disney Channel, going behind the scenes of its movies and tv series. Its current hosts are Mikie Beattie and Chester See (who sings a song called "Bromance": "Nothing gay about it -- not that there's anything wrong with being gay).

Previous hosts included Jared Hernandez (of One Warm Night), Sterling Suleiman (left, of the gay-themed New Normal), Noah Schnacky, and Kean Eli.

Mike's Super Short Show (2005-2007), Disney's Really Short Report (2007-2009), and Leo Little's Big Show (2009-2011) plugged Disney DVD releases.  They were hosted by "really short" kids, including Mike Johnson, Jacob Hays, and Leo Howard (now #9 on my list of the 10 Unexpected Disney Channel Teen Hunks, and star of gay-subtext Kickin' It).

As the Bell Rings (2007-2009) was a very short teencom, 5 minute sketches about school adventures, mostly heterosexist stuff about who's crushing on who.  The male cast included Collin Cole, Seth Ginsberg, and Tony Oller, star of the teen thriller Beneath the Darkness (2012), who tweeted "I'm NOT GAY, people!  My ass of a friend decided to tweet that!"  A somewhat homophobic reaction.

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