Yesterday, one of Netflix’s Twitter accounts posted a clip from a new episode of the cartoon Big Mouth. It was meant to playfully introduce a new character voiced by Ali Wong, but when this new kid in school boldly delivered an explanation of her sexuality to her new classmates, it ended up being a rather regressive summation of bisexuality versus pansexuality. “Bisexuality is so binary,” says Wong’s character. “Being pansexual means my sexual preference isn’t limited by gender identity … It’s like, some of you borings like tacos, and some of you like burritos. And if you’re bisexual, you like tacos and burritos. But I’m saying I like tacos and burritos, and I could be into a taco that was born a burrito, or a burrito that is transitioning into a taco, comprende? And honey, anything else on the fucking menu.”
Queer folks were upset that the character’s well-intentioned monologue implied that bisexuality is not inclusive of trans, nonbinary, or other gender expressions and that it ended up kind of categorizing trans people as almost a third gender, as opposed to their being male or female. Well, Big Mouth co-creator Andrew Goldberg posted a statement on Twitter on behalf of the show’s creators and executive producers, explaining that they have seen the reactions, and they would like to apologize. The statement also thanked the queer community for speaking up and said, “This time we could have done better.”
Here’s to lessons learned.