A new Disney+ animated kids series Baymax!, features what is believed to be the company’s first transgender character, buying tampons at a supermarket.
Christopher Rufo, an academic at the conservative Manhattan Institute, tweeted what he claimed to be a ‘leaked’ version of the upcoming Baymax series, which has since been uploaded to Disney Entertainment Studio’s YouTube page.
The show features a robot nurse browsing the menstrual product aisle at a supermarket. The Big Hero 6 spinoff is set in the fictional town of San Fransokyo and shows Baymax, who works as a ‘personal healthcare companion.’
In the scene, the protagonist, the Marvel Comics superhero nurse robot Baymax, is reportedly helping a girl named Sofia, 12, who is experiencing her first period right before a school talent show and appears to be picking up menstrual products for her.
Earlier in the Baymax! episode, Sofia and the robot nurse discuss her period in the gender neutral bathroom, the New York Post said.
‘I wasn’t prepared for this!’ Sofia reportedly tells Baymax. ‘And the dispenser’s empty! And I don’t even have a thing! A tampad. A pad-pon. A maxi-pad-pon with wings.’
In a new Disney+ show, shows a transgender character (pictured in the transgender flag shirt, right) among a large group of others offering robot nurse Baymax advice on period products to bring back to 12-year-old Sofia, who just got her first period
The controversial scene shows Baymax standing next to a woman in the tampon aisle looking at the mass amount of products on the shelf, before asking her: ‘Excuse me, which of these products would you recommend?’
The woman appears to be utterly shocked as she stares at the robot in horror before schooling her facial expressions.
She replies: ‘Oh, um…well…these are the tampons I usually use.’ She then hands the box of Gentle tampons over to the robot.
This incites the entire aisle to jump in to offer suggestions for Sofia, from wingless to winged pads, from products meant for first-time period experiences, to environmentally conscious products.
However, many parents and social media users were more astonished by a transgender character offering a period suggestion than by the openness of discussing the coming of age experience.
The transgender character (far right) can be seen offered Baymax a pink box of pads with wings, saying he preferred those. This is believed to be Disney’s first transgender character
When Baymax first asked the woman next to him (pictured) for suggestions, she seemed uncomfortable for offer advice on the brand of tampons she used
A woman suggested Baymax get Sofia pads because it is ‘always more comfortable for me,’ when a character – where a transgender flag shirt – says: ‘I always get the ones with wings.’
Although the moment isn’t lingered on in the show – rather the robot is bombarded with more suggestions from a father and another woman in the aisle – Twitter users found the moment appalling.
Texas State Representative Bryan Slaton, 44, kicked off the criticism, writing on Twitter: ‘This is so sick and weird. We have to protect kids from the sick adults who want to sexualize them and let them be kids.’
Opinion writer for the Star Telegram Nicole Russell highlighted how uncomfortable society is around period culture as women are often expected to discuss it behind closed doors in fear of making others feel uneasy.
She wrote: ‘I have four kids, ages eight [to] 15, who would watch this and it would make them all uncomfortable. What is the purpose?’
Another said the discussions of periods is ‘stealing childhood from children.’
She wrote: ‘You are an adult. This is a cartoon for children. Children don’t need to or want to talk about periods.’
Rufo even accused the company of promoting ‘the idea that men can have periods to children as young as two years old.’
However, not every parent disagreed with the scene, and highlighted the many young girls in the US are getting their periods as young as 10.
Many were appealed by the scene, saying it would make people ‘uncomfortable’ and it was ‘sick and weird.’ However, some parents liked the idea of young girls, who can get their periods as young as 10, learning about their periods and destigmatizing shopping for period products
‘Kids GET periods. Statistically, at younger ages than they used to. Talking about periods and how to take care of yourself when you get a period in early and non-scary ways is good,’ Twitter user L. McMill wrote.
A father named Karl praised Disney for normalizing men buying period products for their daughters, wives, and girlfriends, even if he did admit that Disney has been ‘doing some sketchy s**t.’
‘This seems more like “normalizing” men buying feminine products for their daughters, or other women in their life. Which [by the way], should be totally fine lol. Definitely done that,’ he wrote.
Disney recently announced that going forward, it aims to have 50 percent of its characters represent minorities, such as the LGBT+ community.
The company has been caught in political crossfire since publicly coming out against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ ‘Don’t Say Gay,’ bill, which bans discussing sexual orientation and gender identity through the third grade.