Netflix does a lot for LGBTQ+ representation on film and television. Sure, the streamer has made some missteps but on the whole, they have helped to increase representation in important ways. Shows like Sex Education, Elite, Hollywood, and more complicate existing tropes around queer and trans folks at times, while also presenting the community as more than just their gender or sexuality. They have so much content that they've relaunched their LGBTQ+ vertical Most, which is aimed at helping fans discover things they may have missed. It's been welcome! Except for some of the straights.
On Tuesday, a Twitter user uploaded a meme that had been circulating. Over a photo of Spongebob SquarePants' Patrick about to put a pumpkin into a tube feeding into Spongebob's mouth, the meme ascribed the players to new roles: Patrick became Netflix, the pumpkin an "unnecessary gay character, and Spongebob was "any new series." The idea, of course, being that Netflix was force-feeding queerness into their shows. Given the size of the pumpkin and the size of the funnel (as well as how the meme is generally used), the idea is also is that it's being done at all costs.
The tweet went viral with many responding both in favor of against. Some felt vindicated saying that the streamer was trying to normalize LGBTQ+ people — well ... like ... you know what, nevermind — while others took the opposite approach. One person said that they had never seen a straight character that they would consider "necessary" which ... tea! And then Netflix itself weighed in.
"Sorry," they wrote to their official account. "You have yet to realize that every gay person is very necessary."
WE LOVE TO SEE IT!
Other streamers, networks, and publications like Amazon Prime Video, Freeform, and more have responded in support. And yes, we obviously did as well.