This week’s minorities in cartoons entry is “The Loud House,” a Nickelodeon animated series that debuted in 2016.
The series focuses on the Loud family, a family of 11 siblings ranging in age from 17 to an infant. All save one of the Loud siblings are girls; the main character of the series is Lincoln Loud, an 11-year-old boy. Lincoln occasionally breaks the fourth wall to talk to the viewers about his life in a chaotic and crowded household. Also present are the Louds’ parents; in the tradition of old-time cartoons, their faces are never seen, though we see the rest of their bodies.
Besides Lincoln, the Loud siblings (in descending age) include: Lori, a bossy teenager; Leni, who’s pretty ditzy; Luna, a musician; Luan, a comedian; Lynn, an athlete; Lucy, a goth (despite being a grade-schooler); twins Lana and Lola (Lola’s bratty and enjoys makeup and dressing up); Lisa, a preschool-aged child genius; and infant Lily.
Aside from Lincoln, the main other boy character on “The Loud House” is his best friend Clyde, an African-American boy who has a crush on Lori. An only child, Clyde enjoys spending time around the rest of the Loud siblings. Clyde’s parents are a same-sex couple, Howard and Harold McBride, who’re a tad overprotective of their son—a sleepover, for instance, has them drop off at the Louds’ a humidifier and a dehumidifier, plus other excessive paraphernalia.
Gay characters are finally becoming seen more often on American children’s TV, but to date, the few other shows with LGBT characters are all women. Unless there’s a previous example, this is the first American children’s cartoon with openly gay men as characters.
A recent episode (“L is for Love”) revealed one of the Loud sisters (Luna) has a crush on a female classmate.
Clyde is voiced by Caleel Harris, a child actor who’s appeared in the “Think Like a Man” movies.
Howard and Harold McBride are voiced by Michael McDonald and Wayne Brady respectively. McDonald appeared on the sitcom “Scrubs,” while Brady is the host of the current version of the game show “Let’s Make a Deal” on CBS.
Luna is voiced by Nika Futterman, a voice actress who’s done voice work for “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” (several voices) and “DC Super Hero Girls” (as Hawkgirl).