The creators of the hit animated Nickelodeon show "The Legend of Korra" have confirmed that the show's main heroine, Korra, and another female character named Asami, are in love with one another. Some parents have criticized the network for the decision, saying it was inappropriate to bring such a political and controversial subject onto a children's TV program.
In the final moments of the show's season finale on Friday night, Korra and Asami "held hands, turned and gazed at each other lovingly while romantic music played, and walked off together into the bright light of the Spirit World," reports the Daily Beast.
Although there was nothing explicitly sexual about the scene, subsequent Tumblr posts by the show's writers, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko make it clear that the two characters were intended to be gay.
"Our intention with the last scene was to make it as clear as possible that yes, Korra and Asami have romantic feelings for each other," DiMartino wrote. "The moment where they enter the spirit portal symbolizes their evolution from being friends to being a couple."
"You can celebrate it, embrace it, accept it, get over it, or whatever you feel the need to do, but there is no denying it. That is the official story. We received some wonderful press in the wake of the series finale at the end of last week, and just about every piece I read got it right: Korra and Asami fell in love. Were they friends? Yes, and they still are, but they also grew to have romantic feelings for each other."
"But this particular decision wasn't only done for us," he adds. "We did it for all our queer friends, family, and colleagues. It is long overdue that our media (including children's media) stops treating non-heterosexual people as nonexistent, or as something merely to be mocked. I'm only sorry it took us so long to have this kind of representation in one of our stories."
While the move has been praised for "exposing positive LGBT representation" by numerous media outlets, some parents feel that Nickelodeon exploited children as a means of winning the national debate.
"It is disturbing to me, because my 10 year old daughter has loved "Legend of Korra" from the beginning," said Ruthie Townsend of Nashville, TN.
"The show includes so many good lessons for children, like bravery, selflessness, and friendship. It's just very sad that the creators had to push their agenda on impressionable children."
"Really?! In a children's show? If they didn't want to push the heterosexual agenda then they should also not push the homosexual one," another commenter named Joy Ogbonna wrote.
"Sorry but this ending to a children's show leaves a sour taste in my mouth."
Janet Boynes, former lesbian and founder of Janet Boynes Ministries, warns that the gay community is attempting to indoctrinate young children by "normalizing" homosexual relations via television shows.
"Let me say this in plain English: The gay community wants to indoctrinate an entire generation of American children with pro-homosexual propaganda and eliminate traditional values from American society. Their ultimate dream is to create a new America based on sexual promiscuity in which the values you and I cherish are long forgotten."
She encourages Christian parents to "unite in our efforts and become the voice God would have us be."
"When you know better, you do better," she writes.
"How can we, as Christians, get our message out that we can be transformed through the power of Jesus Christ? For all you naysayers, I am not going away. We need to get off our blessed assurance, stop running scared and stand up for righteousness. As Scripture teaches, "You love righteousness and hate wickedness" (Ps. 45:7, NKJV)."