Hulu has released the first official trailer for the queer-centric series Love, Victor. The show will debut on June 19, 2020, and I guess it better be ready to fight an uphill battle with a couple of controversies already brewing.
We talked about the casting for Love, Victor back in August of 2019. At that time, the upcoming series was supposed to air on Disney+ and serve as a milestone for the House of Mouse airing content with a queer lead. However, in February of 2020 the series was shifted to Hulu, and (understandably) there was an uproar on social media from the queer community.
Was Disney+ moving Love, Victor to another streaming service because it was just too queer for the studio’s family-friendly audience? For many people the shift didn’t make sense considering how Disney+ already features content containing a lot of violence and sexual jokes.
I’m a bit torn about the situation. Hulu recently shared a teaser for the show and, in my opinion, it was quite sexually charged. Also, there’s a difference between talking about sexual stuff in a comedic sense (which Disney+ has many examples of) and addressing said stuff in a serious or flirty tone.
I mean, you can see for yourself why this particular scene alone might have been too much for Disney+ to handle!
Now, surprisingly, the first official trailer is quite tame in comparison. The content shown in the trailer looks like it’s from a queer-centric series I can see airing on Disney+, but we all know (due to the teaser) that the actual show is going handle certain situations very differently.
Here’s my reaction video!
The description for the series (via Collider) reads:
Set in the world of the 2018 groundbreaking film LOVE, SIMON which was inspired by Becky Albertalli’s acclaimed novel, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, the series follows Victor, a new student at Creekwood High School on his own journey of self-discovery, facing challenges at home, adjusting to a new city and exploring his sexual orientation. When it all seems too much, he reaches out to Simon to help him navigate the ups and downs of high school.
I understand the frustration that certain people have about the series not airing on Disney+ as originally intended. However, I think debating about it won’t do us any good right now. It’s better to wait for the series to be released next month. Once we all have seen what type of content Love, Victor has, then we can have a discussion about whether or not it should have aired on Disney+ instead of Hulu.
Also, I think saying that Disney still isn’t comfortable with giving the world queer content is a bit harsh. High School Musical: The Musical: The Series has couple of very obvious young queer characters in it and the show has already been renewed for a second season.
Another controversy Love, Victor has to deal with is the show not having an out queer actor playing the lead. The movie Love, Simon also didn’t have an out actor playing the lead role. So, certain people thought the streaming show would rectify that choice. For them, this series would have been an amazing opportunity for a young out actor in Hollywood to get noticed.
Again, I’m torn on this issue, too. From the promotional content I have seen, actor Michael Cimino seems to be doing a good job as Victor. However, even I have to wonder why the lead role couldn’t have been given to an out queer actor instead of Cimino?
Now, before some you come at me with the statement, “You should cast the perfect actor for a queer role regardless of their sexuality,” I get that. But why is it that the majority of the actors that are “perfect” for a queer role end up being cisgender and straight?
Are you telling me that the entire Hollywood industry couldn’t find a single POC out queer actor to play Victor? And no disrespect to those who were cast, but in my opinion, there aren’t a lot of roles out there that demand the “perfect” actor to portray them regardless of the actor’s background.
A majority of the roles out there could have worked fine (or better!) even if the actors originally portraying them were swapped out for someone else. That’s like saying the level of acting that’s being offered in, let’s say, a show like Riverdale couldn’t have been delivered with a different cast.
So, I don’t believe that Micheal Cimino was the ONLY actor in existence who was able to do justice to the fictional character of Victor.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series saw sense in casting a young out queer actor (Frankie Rodriguez) to play the queer character named Carlos Rodriguez. So, why couldn’t Love, Victor have followed a similar route, especially after the casting decision of the film’s lead in Love, Simon?
Whether queer actors should always be considered to play queer roles is an ongoing debate (we did an entire webcast about it). I can see Love, Victor continuing to deal with this issue as the premiere date nears.
Some people are already writing on Cimino’s Instagram account about how disappointed they are about his casting which… yeah, there’s no reason to leave such negative comments on any young actor’s social account.
Another issue (yes, there’s more. Ha!) deals with the type of queer representation being depicted in Love, Victor. From the trailer it’s clear that Victor will be facing troubles with his journey of coming out of the closet. His family doesn’t look like it’s going to be the most accepting of having a queer kid.
This issue was brought up during our article about the casting announcement, too.
Certain members of the LGBTQ+ community feel that media should move away from always telling stories about sad queer characters. For them, it’s time for media to show queer characters that are more than just their coming out journeys.
But, then again, Love, Simon was criticized for showing an unrealistically accepting story about coming out.
Sigh! That’s a lot for any new series to handle.
Let’s see how Love, Victor is received when it debuts on Hulu on June 19, 2020.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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