LGBT-people-in-media-analysis site After Elton has another article about the lack of gay characters in American children’s entertainment:
Brief but pretty thorough analysis/summary of the current state of things. Either writers pull a JK Rowling and reveal a character as being gay after the show’s long been axed, or they can only “infer” in a “nudge-nudge, wink-wink” manner that a character might, maybe, possibly, doesn’t like the opposite sex (though mostly showing them as flamboyant and/or effeminate…).
As the comments section notes, American TV seems afraid of the backlash from the right over an openly gay character in a kids’ show (see: the “Postcards From Buster” flap a few years back), especially since ratings and merchandising (read: money) are at stake. One commenter suggests this might be one reason for the new Scooby-Doo series pushing Velma and Shaggy as a couple rather heavily (per the jokes/remarks about Velma over the years)… which I guess is possible (though still feels more like “a bad fanfic idea come-to-life” to me).
Fortunately, American children’s media outside of TV and movies seem a bit less uptight. Children’s literature has featured openly gay characters (“Heather Has Two Mommies”, etc.), plus there’s the upcoming Archie comic with the debut of an openly-gay character. There’s also non-US TV shows and movies, who don’t seem to have a problem with kids being exposed to gay characters.