The co-creator of Netflix cartoon comedy Big Mouth has apologised after facing anger for a scene which tackles sexuality and gender identity.
The scene in the recent fourth season featured guest character Ali, played by comic Ali Wong, coming out as pansexual after declaring that “bisexuality is so binary”, explaining: “Some of you like tacos and some of you like burritos and if you’re bisexual you like tacos and burritos.
“But I’m saying I like tacos and burritos, and I could be into a taco that was born a burrito… Or a burrito that is transitioning into a taco… And honey, anything else on the f*****g menu.”
Big Mouth ‘missed the mark’ with pansexuality scene.
In a statement on Twitter, co-creator Andrew Goldberg admitted the scene “missed the mark” after fans complained about the show’s definition of bisexuality and the way it referred to transgender people.
He said: “We missed the mark here with this definition of bisexuality vs. pansexuality, and my fellow creators and I sincerely apologise for making people feel misrepresented.
“Any time we try to define something as complex as human sexuality, it’s super challenging, and this time we could have done better.
“Thank you to the trans, pan, and bi communities for further opening our eyes to these important and complicated issues of representation.
“We are listening and we look forward to delving into all of this in future seasons.”
everything’s so weird and complicated right now
— Big Mouth (@bigmouth) October 7, 2019
Aptly, the official Big Mouth Twitter account wrote: “everything’s so weird and complicated right now.”
Fans had complained about the show’s handling of gender and sexuality
Viewers are accusing the scene of implying that transgender people do not belong to a real gender identity and that bisexual people cannot be attracted to transgender or non-binary people.
This is wrong and irresponsible. I get that it’s a comedy, but this is presented as truth within the show. Very disappointing.
And to those who think Bi’s aren’t attracted to or don’t date transgender or NB people… I could introduce you to some people who know otherwise. https://t.co/iV0Eaq7CCI
— Mara “Get Rid of the Nazis” Wilson (@MaraWilson) October 7, 2019
One user wrote, “really, really not that hard to be like ‘Awh pansexual means I’m attracted to everyone regardless of their gender’ this just implies trans people are not real genders and that bisexuality is being transphobic.”
Another wrote: “Stop spreading this false information. Bisexuality has never excluded anyone from the dating pool. Bisexuality includes ALL gender identities!”
Actress and writer Mara Wilson also chimed in, adding: “This is wrong and irresponsible. I get that it’s a comedy, but this is presented as truth within the show. Very disappointing.
“I don’t like misinformation being spread, or the implication that we [bisexual people] are transphobic. There’s already a stigma. And as a ‘pop-culture’ nerd you should understand that people absorb lessons through pop-culture very easily.”