The children's show 'My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic' on Discovery Family Channel will be introducing a new lesbian couple .. of ponies.. in an episode airing the week of June 16, one of the show's writers announced.
The episode "The Last Crusade" will feature ponies Aunt Holiday and Auntie Loft, and writer Michael Vogel tweeted about the TV premier of the two characters, relating the moment to Pride Month.
Hey hey!!! @NicoleDubuc , @joshhaber and I doin what we can to bring more EQuality to EQuestria!! #PrideMonth https://t.co/YPOvvxT3v0— mktoon (@mktoon)1560200944.0
That tweet resulted in a few flame wars on Twitter, (which Vogel pretty successfully avoided being dragged into but did snark-Tweet about), as well as various messages of support for the move.
He also made sure to be expressly clear about the characters, and not to try to walk a line of ambiguous implication.
Daily Wire's Paul Bois points out that in an interview with Buzzfeed, Vogel, who is gay, stated that "diversity and representation" are his top concern in writing kid's shows.
"Diversity and representation are important for kids for so many reasons, and it's my first priority on everything I work on," Vogel told Buzzfeed. "'My Little Pony' has always been about friendship and accepting people (or ponies) that are different from you. So it just felt like something important to do."
The writer is expressly framing the depiction of the characters in terms of activism, and as an effort to advance the ideals and values he holds. That is important to note, because when anyone who does object says so, they'll be characterized as paranoid for suggesting it's a form of activism, despite the fact that the writer intends it to be so and treats it as such himself.
Still, the respectful and calm tweeting, and the abundance of LGBT characters and storylines on TV will probably mean this creates less of splash than it would have just a few years ago, and will end up under considerably less controversy.