The showrunner of the new Apple TV+ animated kids series Frog and Toad said “you can’t deny” that the show has a gay subtext between its two male protagonists, claiming that the gay subtext was also present in the classic children’s books published in the 1970s.
In a Daily Beast interview, showrunner Rob Hoegee said it was important to include gayness in the new series, which begins streaming Friday.
A “significant number” of his cast and crew identify as LGBTQ+, Hoegee told the outlet. So he aspired “to make sure that everyone felt that they were being heard and their contribution—their Frog and Toad—lived on in whatever shape that was.”
“You can’t deny it,” Hoegee said. “It is part of the books, it’s part of the legacy.”
“For people, a lot of readers of a certain age, Frog and Toad as characters seen through a queer lens is hugely important to them,” Hoegee told the Daily Beast.
“We can’t deny anyone that meaning to them, as far as these characters go. If that’s how you see these characters in the book, it’s fair to say that you will have the opportunity to see a similar viewpoint in the show as well.”
Like Sesame Street‘s Bert and Ernie, the original Frog and Toad characters from Arnold Lobel’s books have become icons of the LGBTQ+ world, even though the books don’t contain any references to homosexuality.
Arnold Lobel, who was gay, never indicated that the characters represent a gay couple. In the books, Frog and Toad are best friends who embark on a series of adventures, including flying a kite, discovering nature, and swimming.
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