A little less than a year ago, word broke that Disney+ was going to be the home for a new spin-off of the popular teen film “Love, Simon.” At the time it was reportedly going to focus on the character Leah, but now we know the series is actually “Love, Victor.” The announcement was made as part of the big unveiling of the streaming service last spring. But apparently, Disney+ has cold feet about the series and is, instead, pushing it to Hulu (via Deadline).
For those not aware, “Love, Simon” is a 2018 film about the title character as he worked through the typical coming-of-age, high school tropes but as a young gay male, instead of the typically straight leads that dominate the subgenre. In addition to being a bit of a box office hit, the film marked the first Fox film to feature a gay lead, which was hailed as a huge moment in the industry. Of course, Fox was subsequently purchased by Disney and the Mouse House saw that a spin-off series, focusing on the character of Victor, would be a great addition to the fledgling streaming service.
Alas, that’s not to be. “Love, Victor” now joins the recently-released “High Fidelity” as former Disney+ series that were shipped to Hulu before their release. In the case of the latter series, the show’s salty language and sexual situations are surely the reason why the show found its way to the sister streaming service. But with “Love, Victor?” We aren’t 100% sure, but Deadline’s report does claim that the show’s content might have been too much for Disney+.
“Love, Victor” tells the story of Victor, a new student at the high school featured in “Love, Simon,” who is “on his own journey of self-discovery, facing challenges at home, adjusting to a new city, and struggling with his sexual orientation.”
Now, this is the part where I firmly state that I have no insider knowledge and just have the report to go off of. However, it does appear that maybe the “family-friendly” Disney+ isn’t all that willing to feature a teen show about a gay lead that might have some suggestive dialogue and situations. Deadline’s report claims that the series “depicts alcohol use, parents’ marital issues and sexual exploration,” which isn’t all that shocking given the show’s film inspiration and the plot.
Of course, you can’t help but wonder what the actual line is between what constitutes a Disney+ program and what is a Hulu program? Obviously, in the case of “High Fidelity,” the line is with the frequent use of “fuck” and the nudity/sexual situations. But with “Love, Victor,” are we expecting the same language and nudity? Likely not, especially considering “Love, Simon” was only PG-13 when it was released.
So, is it the LGBTQ storyline? The alcohol use? The marital issues? Or what? We likely won’t know for certain, as it doesn’t benefit Disney to spill the beans. That being said, when you have films such as the Marvel Studios library, where everything is firmly PG-13 (with violence, language, and some suggestive situations), it’s hard to understand where the line in the sand is.
The move isn’t bad, obviously, as Hulu isn’t a terrible place to launch a show and it does allow a certain amount of creative freedom. However, you can’t help but wonder if Disney+ might have been a better spot to showcase “Love, Victor?” Wouldn’t it mean a lot for the streaming service to include a show such as this amongst its family-friendly content? Oh well.