Wat als Bert en Ernie meer dan vrienden waren? | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 48, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1384-6930
  • E-ISSN: 1875-7286


What if Bert and Ernie were more than friends? Flemish parents on homosexuality in children’s programmes

This article examines Flemish parents’ opinion on the depiction of homosexual characters in children’s television. Based on twenty interviews, three categories were composed in relation to different gradations of acceptance. The first category consists of parents who found it necessary to represent homosexuality on television, so that children learn from a young age that this minority group exists. The second category experienced feelings of aversion when two people of the same sex had physical contact with each other. This was considered unnecessary or inappropriate, particularly for young children. The third category includes parents who criticized the amount of homosexual characters on contemporary television, calling it ‘positive discrimination’. In sum, Flemish parents approve the depiction of homosexual characters on children’s television, yet opinions vary on how television should portray them. Physical contact between two people of the same sex, in particular, is perceived as a possible threat to ‘childhood innocence’.


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