Disney Channel’s Andi Mack is addressing the increasingly prevalent issue of gun safety in America with a two-part episode that puts one of its core characters in harm’s way. According to the network, “the storyline illustrates peer pressure and a true test of character for Cyrus when T.J. and his group of friends unexpectedly invite Cyrus to join their unsupervised target practice.”
In crafting this storyline, Disney Channel worked alongside child development experts at The Brady Center and Hollywood, Health & Society, a program of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center. Per a statement from consultant Arthur Pober, Ed.D., “This type of program is very important in modeling for kids a ‘real life’ example of speaking up and doing the right thing. It can help give them the tools to openly communicate which is especially crucial in our anxiety-producing society.”
Adds series creator Terri Minsky, “Our show is meant to entertain kids, yet we also want to help them make sense of a very complicated world, to make them feel safe and confident to talk to parents and trusted adults about gun safety.”
Of course, gun safety is just the latest addition to a laundry list of mature topics broached by the Disney Channel drama. The series was somewhat controversial from Day 1, with its titular character learning that her “older sister” is actually her young mother, then proceeded to address other real-world situations, including Cyrus coming out as gay.
Hit PLAY on the video above for a behind-the-scenes look at Andi Mack’s upcoming gun safety storyline — airing Nov. 16 and Nov. 30 at 8/7c — then drop a comment with your thoughts below.