Vaping is officially the newest Disney villain.
Sunday’s episode of Raven’s Home (Disney Channel, 8/7c) drops Booker into a new group of friends who try to pressure him into vaping. He rejects their offer and tries to warn them about their hazardous hobby, but Coach Spitz misreads the situation, suspending Booker for having a pen on school grounds.
And here’s a shocker: Not only do Booker’s new “friends” allow him to take the blame, but they also tell Coach Spitz that he was trying to get them to vape in the first place. Raven is understandably disappointed with this turn of events, so Booker sets out to prove his innocence.
“There’s always something like this going on,” Issac Ryan Brown (aka Booker) tells TVLine. “Every generation has its ‘cool thing’ that everybody wants to hop on,” which is what led Disney Channel to collaborate with Hollywood, Health & Society, a consulting group that brought in experts from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, among other organizations.
Raven’s Home has previously broached subjects like puberty, self-acceptance and bullying (both online and off), but this episode, titled “What About Your Friends,” marks a significant effort to raise awareness of a particular public health concern.
“We were able to work with the writers and [these groups] to curate a script that has truthful elements and can also start conversations within a family unit,” Raven-Symoné explains, adding that the episode doesn’t just carry a message for the younger demographic. Here’s her message for parents: “When you sit down with your kids, listen. Don’t just push this off as a children’s episode. You can talk about this with people in your own age bracket.”
While watching the episode, you’ll also notice that Raven’s arm is in a bedazzled sling — a clue that this episode was filmed during her stint on The Masked Singer. (Something tells us she’ll avoid hover boards in the future.)
“Thank goodness for Nancy Martin who found amazing slings to hold my arm in,” Raven says, offering thanks to “everyone for their support during that time.”
Your thoughts on Raven’s Home tackling vaping? Drop ’em in a comment below.