Featuring a household with two dads and their adopted daughter, Nia, The Bravest Knight ranks among the first children’s television series with openly gay main characters. Sir Cedric, an inspiring and persevering former pumpkin farmer who is now grown and married to the prince of his dreams, shares his story with his daughter on how he transformed from daytime farmer to full-fledged knight. 10-year-old Nia is training to become a brave knight, and learns important values such as honour, justice and compassion; proving that knighthood is much more than slaying dragons.
Big Bad Boo was started 10 years ago with a goal to normalize diverse and inclusive shows to better represent real life. In producing these types of stories, Shabnam Rezaei, The Bravest Knight producer and director, says,
“Our hope was – and remains – that these shows would not be labelled as “niche” just because they didn’t feature a majority white cast. We set out to make content without labels that reflect real life — content that is telling the many stories that have not yet been told and is aware that the world is made up of all types of people. It is important that we show honest and real representations of the LGBTQ2+ community so kids understand that these points of view are valued and make our society better.”
Big Bad Boo wants to ensure they are being extremely accurate in their storytelling, to reflect lived experiences and be authentic, while also making content that is highly entertaining. They take pride in the fact that the more they can do to represent how alike we all are, the better the world will be. The team ensures that both behind the camera as well as in front, they have the right people telling their stories.
The animated TV landscape is much more colourful now than when Big Bad Boo was first started. There has been a concerted effort to highlight underrepresented cultures including LGBTQ2+ representation, but there’s still a long way to go and much more work that needs to be done. As an industry, Big Bad Boo believes we need to keep being deliberate about the types of stories we tell and who we spotlight, with more effort put into training creatives from marginalized communities and a greater emphasis on creating parity in the highest levels of the industry to ensure that this is a sustained movement to create richer television.
There are many great resources available, not only for kids who may have questions about their own identity, but also for parents and allies who may be seeking more information for their own learning. There is also a lot of misleading information, so it is important to take the time to learn more about topics such as gender identity, sexuality and expression. One great resource Big Bad Boo recommends for kids (and parents) in Canada is gendercreativekids.com, which features an interactive website and lots of information about these topics. They are also fans of GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign and the Trevor Project.
The team loves celebrating Pride because it provides a chance to reflect on how important it is to celebrate the various colours of the rainbow and to think about how far we have come in such a short amount of time with our initiatives.
Learn more about The Bravest Knight at: http://www.thebravestknight.com/. You can watch The Bravest Knight on Hulu in the United States.
Special thanks to Hulu, which donated $50,000 to The Trevor Project (preventing LGBTQ suicides in youth) upon reaching 50,000 views in four weeks.