Big Mouth, a show celebrated for its candid treatment of gross-out puberty, is facing accusations of biphobia and transphobia after a controversial new episode.
The Netflix cartoon, which sees teenagers battling the explicit perils of growing up alongside their hormone monsters, has just entered its third season.
However, a recent clip from the show spread like wildfire online – for all the wrong reasons.
Check out the controversial gag below:
— Netflix Is A Joke (@NetflixIsAJoke) October 5, 2019
When new kid in school Ali (voiced by Ali Wong) is introduced to her new classmates, she offers an explanation of her sexuality.
In the clip, the character says:
Bisexuality is so binary… 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 f*cking menu.
While clearly intended as a joke, pure and simple, people in the LGBTQ community have criticised the clip as a regressive, ‘harmful and incorrect’ look at different sexualities.
Bisexuality includes trans people; always has, always will. Thanks once again for the misinformation and further ostracisation of trans people in regards to sexuality.
— Atlas (@elfmanatlas) October 6, 2019
One Twitter user wrote: ‘Is this some kind of cartoon show, or something? It’s pretty much the worst thing I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been on the Internet since 1994 and seen some shit.’
Another user wrote:
Listen I love Big Mouth but this is a gross misunderstanding of the actual differences between bisexuality and pansexuality. Implying bi people can’t be into trans people? Not cool.
I know so many teens between middle to highschool ages who'd agree with me: no lgbt teenager has this horrible of an understanding of the terms. It's just fucking offensive not only towards the community, but to us youngsters who are still figuring shit out.
— Bash✨ (@BashArtz) October 7, 2019
Some people have defended the show, commenting that it’s intended as a dark, humorous satire that’s not meant to be taken seriously.
big mouth is a dark satire that isnt supposed to be taken seriously at all ,why are people extremely sensitive nowadays about everything, the whole is a piss take ,chill
— 𝚫 𝖇𝖇𝖖 𝖘𝖆𝖚𝖈𝖊 𝚫 (@radicalvisionsx) October 6, 2019
After watching this episode last night I knew the offended generation would be out in droves sooner or later
— Gareth Fox (@GarethFox_S24SU) October 6, 2019
Matilda actress Mara Wilson hit out at the clip, writing: ‘This is wrong and irresponsible. I get that it’s a comedy, but this is presented as truth within the show. Very disappointing. And to those who think Bi’s aren’t attracted to or don’t date transgender or NB people… I could introduce you to some people who know otherwise.’
Following the backlash, Big Mouth co-creator Andrew Goldberg apologised on Twitter for ‘making people feel misrepresented’.
— Andrew Goldberg (@BigMouthAndrew) October 7, 2019
Goldberg’s statement read:
We missed the mark here with this definition of bisexuality vs. pansexuality, and my fellow creators and I sincerely apologize for making people feel misrepresented.
Any time we try to define something as complex as human sexuality, it’s super challenging, and this time we could have done better.
Thank you to the trans, pan, and bi communities for further opening our eyes to these important and complicated issues of representation. We are listening and we look forward to delving into all of this in future seasons.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.