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Not Everyone Is Happy With Bel-Air's New Queer Character

ashley banks

Peacock’s new Fresh Prince reboot Bel-Air continues to update the original show in clever and interesting ways. But not every fan is happy with the changes.

In the fifth episode of Bel-Air, Ashley Banks (played by Akira Akbar) is talking to one of her sister Hilary’s friends, an influencer who specializes in sex positivity. She asks whether they think the future of sexuality will be more fluid, and asks whether or not it’s even worth labeling your sexuality at such a young age.

Later, the 12-year-old confides in Hilary when she needs some relationship advice. Ashley tells her big sister that she has a crush on her friend Lucia, and follows up by asking if Hilary is surprised she’s queer. Thankfully, Hilary is supportive, and even says she’s not surprised.

A lot has changed about the characters from the original. Carlton is no longer a dorky prep, but is a popular jock. Hilary is no longer an air-headed socialite, but a proud and intelligent influencer. And now, we’ve seen one way in which Ashley, the youngest Banks child, has changed.

This seems like an exciting update to the character, and one that we can’t wait to see develop. However, some viewers of the show weren’t as happy, complaining the reboot is trying to be “woke” or is pushing a “gay agenda.” Warning: get ready for some of the coldest hot takes you’ve ever seen.

“Ashley Banks is gay on #BelAir,” one viewer tweeted. “They really got a 12 year old girl on TV talking about she’s physically attracted to women, society really needs to stop sexualizing children.”

“Is there some rule now that every show must include an LGBTQ+ character?” another viewer tweeted. “Watching the new episode of Bel-Air, and they made 12 year old Ashley gay/bisexual. I don't care who people are attracted to in life, but why change Ashley in this way on a television show?”

“Ashley Banks being gay in the Bel-Air is a prime example of the film industry forcing LGBT representation on us,” a third person tweeted.

Unfortunately, it seems there are people on Twitter who are too sensitive to see a Black girl be gay on tv. Thankfully, they aren’t the people who get to make decisions about what we see on TV.

Episode 6 of Bel-Air arrives on Peacock on Thursday, March 3.

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