Rugrats is getting a CGI reboot, but the visuals won’t be the only thing changing about the classic Nickelodeon cartoon, as Betty DeVille will now be openly gay.
As someone who grew up watching Rugrats in my own childhood, it is extremely exciting to see the show get a reboot. Even if the change from the classic hand-drawn animation to one that utilizes CGI is a bummer for me personally, it’s exciting to see that Betty DeVille, who plays the mother of twins Phil and Lil, will now be openly gay.
Natalie Morales, who plays Lucy from Parks and Recreation, is gay herself, and voices Betty DeVille in the Rugrats reboot, made the announcement. “Anyone who watched the original show may have had an inkling Betty was a member of the alphabet mafia,” she told The A.V. Club. The “alphabet mafia” is a reference to the LGBTQ+ community.
Rumours swirled for years around whether Betty was secretly gay based on her character in the original show, but while that may have just been fans making assumptions, we now see the change coming for the reboot. While it’s unclear what that means for Phil and Lil’s father, who was one of the characters in the original cartoon, it won’t necessarily mean he would be removed from the cast list. Regardless, it’s exciting to see cartoons get LGBT representation for younger generations.
Morales continued to speak on Betty’s character change while comparing it to her own experiences. “Betty is a single mom with her own business who has twins and still has time to hang out with her friends and her community, and I think it’s just so great because examples of living your life happily and healthily as an out queer person is just such a beacon for young queer people who may not have examples of that.”
“And yeah, Betty is a fictional cartoon, but even cartoons were hugely influential for me as a kid and if I’d been watching Rugrats and seen Betty casually talking about her ex-girlfriend, I think at least a part of me would have felt like things might be okay in the future.”
The reboot was officially announced back in July 2018, with a 26-episode revival in the works. Premiering on Paramount+, the reboot officially launched on May 27th, where you can go take a look at what the all-new Rugrats looks like right now.