The Significance of Minority Representation in Syfy’s Chucky

Created by Don Mancini, Chucky premiered on Syfy and the USA Network on October 12. Based on the Child's Play franchise, it serves as a chronological sequel to Cult of Chucky. Unsurprising to diehard fans, the Child's Play saga has never shied away from incorporating LGBTQ+ characters, especially since Don Mancini himself is a gay male.

Chucky, the new iteration, follows Jake Wheeler, a teenager who is struggling with his sexuality in a small suburban town called Hackensack. Jake discovers Chucky at a yard sale, and as per the Child's Play motif, horrific murders begin to occur. However, within its morbid premise, Chucky values the representation of minority groups, whether it be the LGBTQ+ community, ethnic groups or spectrum disorders.

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Jake Wheeler Is An LGBTQ+ Protagonist

Before Chucky aired on television, it was rumored that its main protagonist, Jake Wheeler, would be a member of the LGBTQ+ community; it was later confirmed that Jake would be openly gay and his character arc would involve an internal struggle with his sexuality and self-acceptance. Jake is an aspiring artist who purchases Chucky with the intention of dismembering him for a doll sculpture. His father, Luke Wheeler - played by Devon Sawa - disapproves of his son's sexuality and personifies an aggressive sense of homophobia.

In the show, Jake has a crush on a fellow student named Devon Evans, played by Björgvin Arnarson. While it is unclear if Devon feels the same, there are scenes that encapsulate a mutual fascination bordering on the romantic - from which several assumptions can be made. When discussing the relevant themes in Chucky, Zackary told Screen Rant: "One thing I like to mention is that this series really shows the problems that happen every day, as far as bullying and people not accepting people who are coming into their sexuality, and I hope people empathize with that."

An openly gay protagonist is a huge stepping stone, not just for television in general, but for the horror genre, which so frequently sees LGBTQ+ characters overplayed or drowning in stereotypes. It feels progressive to see Jake Wheeler healthily explore his sexuality and learn to accept himself.

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Chucky's Son Is Confirmed LGBTQ+

In Chucky's second episode, Give Me Something Good to Eat, Jake and Chucky have a touching heart-to-heart regarding Jake's sexuality after Chucky reads Jake's diary and discovers that he has a crush on Devon. Rather than use this newfound information as blackmail, Chucky confides in Jake about his child, Glen (or Glenda), who identifies as genderfluid.

Genderfluidity refers to a gender that varies over time. In Seed of Chucky, Tiffany believes that Glen is her daughter, thus referring to them as Glenda. Oppositely, Chucky is convinced that Glenda is male, thus referring to them as Glen. “Sometimes I feel like a boy. Sometimes I feel like a girl.” Glen/Glenda tells their parents in the film. “Can I be both?”

Give Me Something Good to Eat references Glen/Glenda in a subtle, yet significant way. During the conversation, decidedly adopting a more serious tone than the franchise is known for, Chucky declares, "You know, I have a queer kid," to which Jake asks, "You have a kid?" Then, Chucky proceeds to explain that his child is genderfluid, to which Jake asks, "You're cool with it?" and Chucky humorously replies, "I'm not a monster, Jake."

RELATED: Chucky Star Still Hasn't Watched the First Three Child's Play Movies

Chucky may be a murderous doll, but he does have a shred of humanity left in him. By introducing a gender-diverse character and an LGBTQ+ ally father figure, the show proves that if Chucky can be supportive and accepting, anyone can.

Fans Believe That Caroline Cross Shows Symptoms of Potential Autism

Lexy Cross, the domineering teenager that bullies Jake Wheeler, has a little sister called Caroline. In I Like To Be Hugged, the third episode, Chucky gatecrashes a Halloween party in an attempt to murder Lexy, but instead forms an unlikely bond with her younger sibling. In an uncharacteristic moment, Chucky plays video games with Caroline, who expresses her wishes to be his friend.

RELATED: Child's Play Creator Don Mancini Teases Chucky's 'Sexual Fluidity' Journey

Fan speculation has generated the widespread belief that Caroline is on the autism spectrum, purely based on the symptoms that she exhibits. Earlier on, before Lexy leaves for the Halloween party, she argues with her parents about Caroline, mentioning that Caroline "doesn't like to be touched." Autism is diagnosed based on a number of symptoms, but mainly delayed milestones, socially awkwardness and difficulty with verbal and nonverbal communication. According to the National Autism Society, "Many autistic people will show signs of distress before having a meltdown." Autistic children also find comfort in specific items. For Caroline, that item is Chucky. Caroline is exceptionally talented, but can be seen in visible distress after parting with Chucky, to whom she likely attached herself.

While Chucky may never outwardly state it, Caroline's possible position on the autism spectrum is open to interpretation, but representation for spectrum disorders can be important to those who share the same experiences and might feel understood to some extent.

Chucky airs Tuesdays at 10 pm ET/PT on SyFy.

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Chase Wilkinson (60 Articles Published)

Chase is an anime, television and movie features writer for CBR. An award-winning screenwriter, published poet and accomplished academic writer, they have taken the media industry by storm; they have produced short stories, scripts, articles, features and poetry that thoroughly engage, excite and thrill those fortunate enough to read them. As a self-proclaimed geek, they enjoy watching anime, horror movies and animated shows. Their life revolves around cinema, video games and literature. If lost, please return to Jessica Jones. They can be found on Instagram @chaseswilkinson.

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