Monday, May 31, 2021

Veteran 'Rugrats' Voice Actor E.G. Daily Shares Thoughts on Longtime Character Being Openly Gay in New Series

Paramount+ highly-anticipated reboot of the classic Nickelodeon animated series Rugrats dropped on the streaming service on May 27, and in it, Phil and Lil's mother Betty DeVille is an out lesbian. In this iteration, the character runs a cafe, loves football, and cracks jokes about ex-girlfriends. Actor Natalie Morales is voicing the character, and she confirmed Betty's sexuality to The A.V. Club. Morales explained that "anyone who watched the original show may have had an inkling Betty was a member of the alphabet mafia," a nickname for the LGBTQ+ community. Morales, who is queer herself, said it was important for her that the reboot featured that kind of representation.

"Betty is a single mom with her own business who has twins and still has time to hang out with her friends and her community, and I think it’s just so great because examples of living your life happily and healthily as an out queer person is just such a beacon for young queer people who may not have examples of that," she explained. While Betty might be a cartoon character, Morales said that even the fictional characters of her childhood were "hugely influential" on her, "and if I’d been watching Rugrats and seen Betty casually talking about her ex-girlfriend, I think at least a part of me would have felt like things might be okay in the future."

In the original series, Betty was married to a man named Howard, but according to an original cast member, Betty's orientation was a bit of an open secret. TMZ caught up with E.G. Daily, who voiced Tommy Pickles, and she showed her support for the reboot's decision to have Betty be gay while explaining that the original series was from a different time.

According to Daily, the cast and crew didn't discuss Betty's sexuality, but that the implications from the writers were heavy. However, during the show's original run in the '90s, Betty couldn't be an out character due to societal limitations.

"It wasn’t really spoken of back then because we did do it a while ago. So it wasn’t really spoken of… We just love her, period," said Daily.

She says everyone could kind of tell back then, but now society's progressed to where a kids' show can have an openly gay character. And Daily couldn't be happier that the new version is able to embrace who she is and be a positive representation for the community.

E.G. says the whole cast is embracing the character's newfound freedom to truly be herself.

"Betty [DeVille] is a member of the LGBTQ community, which is super awesome because our characters on Rugrats are starting to get more specific. Although we all kind of had ideas or feelings about them, the times we’re in, it’s really beautiful that people get to be who they are, and we’re embracing everybody’s freedom, everybody’s desire to be authentic. So yes, Betty is a member of the LGBTQ community."

The OG Rugrats ran from 1991 to 2004, and E.G. revealed that the reboot is changing with the times in other ways too. Pay attention to Grandpa Lou... sounds like he knows his way around the internet now.

Viewers are in for a lot of changes, but there's at least one constant -- E.G. still has her Tommy Pickles voice down pat!

Catch all-new episodes of Rugrats on Paramount+, which can be subscribed to with a free trial here

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