Don’t look, Toto! ABC’s ‘Once Upon a Time’ turns Dorothy gay
Toto, I don’t think we’re straight anymore.
On Sunday night’s episode of “Once Upon a Time,” a show which brings fairy tales and fantasy legends to life, showrunners Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis introduced the show’s first gay relationship, bringing together “The Wizard of Oz’s” Dorothy and Red Riding Hood (known as “Ruby”) for some girl-on-girl action. In front of the Munchkins, no less.
The premise of “Once Upon A Time” involves characters from popular fairy tales and fantasy stories have crossed over into the real world. Although aimed at teens and adults, many of the characters are based on the Disney versions seen in the animated films, including Snow White, Belle, Mulan, and Sleeping Beauty. In addition, the Frozen characters have made appearances, making the show popular with younger viewers. That may be why so many parents were upset when this happened:
In the episode, entitled “Ruby Slippers,” Dorothy (Teri Reeves) is placed under a sleeping spell by the Wicked Witch of the West, and can only be awakened by true love’s kiss. Since Dorothy has never had a boyfriend, the Witch reasons, she has never experienced true love, and can never be awakened.
The day is saved, however, when Ruby/Red Riding Hood (played by Meghan Ory), wakes Dorothy up with true love’s kiss, and then decide to make out, to everyone’s apparent delight. Unless you count the viewers, who were universally upset.
Even though E Online praised the episode in an article, parents spoke out in the comments section against it, upset that their children were exposed to a lesbian relationship in a “family” show. “That was it for me,” one parent commented. “I have nothing against gay people or their choices but to change fairy-tale characters like that, not happening in this family. Kids can no longer watch this show. Try explaining to little ones that characters they know are suddenly so different. You can’t. I erased my DVR and won’t watch another episode of this show.”
On the other side, MovieFone.com reported that gay rights supporters were also upset with the reveal of the lesbian couple. After the show’s producers had teased an LGBT romance was coming, some fans were hoping it would involve major characters, and they were upset that Dorothy and Ruby (who rarely appear on the show) turned out to be the gay characters. In addition, some felt the lesbian relationship was forced and didn’t feel “authentic,” since the two characters had only just met and suddenly became each other’s “true love.”
“This was a horrible attempt at ‘representation’ and they gained absolutely nothing from it,” one commentor said. “LGBT viewers hated it because it was a poor attempt at going ‘Oh, look at us! We included two women who kissed. That should pay you back for ignoring your existence for five years, right?’ It was poorly written, poorly executed and just poorly done in general. I can honestly say that no representation would have been better than this.”
The outrage from both sides is just proof that when TV show creators and TV networks try some politically-correct social engineering, their cultural pandering leaves no one happy.