Disney Channel’s popular tween series Andi Mack has been banned from airing in Kenya following the addition of a gay character storyline.
Kenya Film Classification Board’s chief executive Ezekial Mutua said in statements earlier this week that the show would not be allowed to air in Kenya and “any attempt to introduce gay programming in Kenya will be met with the full force of the law.”
Arguing that “homosexuality goes against the collective and values of the people of Kenya”, according to Nairobi News, he went on to write on Twitter (abbreviations or misspellings included), “Children must be given correct information tht family is a union btwn people of opposite gender.”
The character – 13-year-old Cyrus Goodman, played by 15-year-old Joshua Rush – began his self-discovery in the Season 2 premiere on October 27. That episode saw big ratings gains – up 72% from the series launch, making it the series’ No. 2 telecast to date in total viewers with 2.1 million, kids 6-14 (1.1 million/3.1) and Adults 18-49 (502,000/0.4), in Live + 3. It also ranked as the No. 1 TV telecast in the timeslot across youth demos (Kids 6-11 and Kids 6-14) and was the No. 1 cable TV telecast in total viewers.
Versus the April 7 series launch, Andi Mack grew by 50% in total viewers (2.1 million vs. 1.4 million), up 41% in Kids 6-14 (1.1 million vs. 780,000) and up 72% in Adults 18-49 (502,000 vs. 292,000).
Groups including GLAAD, PFLAG and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy have been effusive in their praise of the gay character storyline.
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