Tuesday, June 15, 2021

'Mysticons' Creator Sean Jara Reveals Planned Same-Sex Kiss Scene Was Axed Due to Conservative Pressures

Mysticons creator Sean Jara didn't set out to tell a story about an archer and pirate who fell in love.

But when the show's studio, Nelvana, pivoted the Nickelodeon series to center four teenage girls who become heroes known as Mysticons, instead of boys, Jara swapped his nearly all-male team for more women and LGBTQ writers to ensure the story onscreen was more accurately told.

Those queer writers were responsible for building out an arc between lesbian characters Zarya Moonwolf and Kitty Boon, whom fans loved so much they even gave them a ship name — MoonBoon.

By the second season, the two were a burgeoning couple with a planned episodic kiss. 

The Mysticons showrunner then sent the script, as is customary, to the show's studios, Nelvana and YTV, the network Nickelodeon, and their producing partners.

"We sent in the first draft and thought, 'How are they going to react?'" Jara told Insider. "And they weren't fighting it. We got no notes on it."

But the moment never aired.

Although Nickelodeon supported the creative decision, Jara noted, another partner expressed concerns about the storyline and its age-appropriateness for the show's young demographic. So the creative team was forced to scrap it.

Jara said he tried to convince the concerned partner "but there was no convincing. And, as a result, we were told we have to take the kiss out."

"We almost had to unravel the whole love story, but I fought for that like, 'Listen, it's too late.'"

Mysticons studio Nelvana told Insider in a statement that they "regrettably" confirm "that this decision was made during production" of season two.

"We acknowledge that broadcast television has long been confined by conservative parameters for storytellers and it is our responsibility, as producers and broadcasters, to ensure we foster an inclusive ecosystem for creative storytelling with diversity and inclusion at the forefront," the statement continued. 

"Nelvana's commitment to ensure those parameters remain in the past, and create a more diverse and inclusive future has been put into action by implementing a DEI [Diversity, Equity and Inclusion] initiative to increase racial diversity in the studio and industry, with diversity mandates in place for casting, writing and music, not only with BIPOC representation, but also the 2SLGBTQ+ communities," it concluded.

Additional source: Training Exercise.

Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nickelodeon News and Highlights!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have your say by leaving a comment below! NickALive! welcomes friendly and respectful comments. Please familiarize with the blog's Comment Policy before commenting. All new comments are moderated and won't appear straight away.