The third season of the popular cartoon Big Mouth was finally released, and unlike previous seasons which have been praised for handling sensitive topics well, a certain scene in the most recent season has caused controversy.
Personally, I really enjoy Big Mouth. The show has always managed to make cringy topics interesting and entertaining to watch, and generally, this season is no exception to that rule, except for a scene in ‘Rankings’ which has sparked debate. If you aren’t aware of the premise of Big Mouth, it follows the lives of freshly pubescent teenagers in middle school exploring the issues caused by hormones such as body changes, love and awkward experiences.
Overall, I did enjoy this season, however, a scene from the new season caused a large amount of controversy online for its lack of understanding of bisexuality and pansexuality, whilst being transphobic and offensive to non-gender conformists. For a show that normally deals with sexuality and gender so well, it was honestly a massive disappointment for the show to have misinformation which could be really damaging. The scene basically said that bisexual people can’t be in love with transgender people because of the “binary” attraction involved in bisexuality, implying that only pansexual people are attracted to transgender or non-binary people.
The statement in the context of the show is said in a very matter-of-fact educational manner as if it’s meant to properly educate the viewers
As a viewer I was shocked at this scene and the blatant transphobia, implying that trans people aren’t ‘fully’ their gender or are somehow other; or even that trans people are their own separate division of gender. This is extremely misinformed and I can’t believe that the creators and writers didn’t fact-check before they wrote the script, especially because the statement in the context of the show is said in a very matter-of-fact educational manner as if it’s meant to properly educate the viewers.
Andrew Goldberg, a co-creator of the show, did post online to apologise about how they “missed the mark” and would learn from their mistakes. Whilst the damage has already been done, I do appreciate the sentiment of the apology, fully admitting that it was wrong and that they would be more aware in future seasons of the show. Apart from that scene, the rest of the new season of Big Mouth was as entertaining as the others, even with the addition of special guests such as the cast of Queer Eye into the show.
If the scene from episode 8 wasn’t in the season, this would have been a rave review. It’s reassuring to know that the writers have acknowledged where they went wrong, and seem to have learnt from the LGBTQ+ community coming forward to correct them; let’s hope that in future seasons huge mistakes like this don’t happen, especially in a show that’s praised for its writing so often.
Last modified: 19th November 2019