“Anyone who watched the original show may have had an inkling Betty was a member of the alphabet mafia.”
Betty DeVille, Phil and Lil’s mum in Rugrats, has been rewritten as an openly gay character in the new reboot of the classic children’s cartoon.
The original show ran from 1991 to 2004 and has returned with new episodes available to stream on Paramount+. In the originals, Betty’s character consistently wore jumpers with the female gender sign on it, and was married to Howard DeVill.
— Paramount+ (@paramountplus) May 27, 2021
However, in the reboot Betty will be openly gay, wearing a jumper with the Gemini symbol on it, and openly making references to her ex-girlfriend. Queer actor Natalie Morales has replaced Kath Soucie as the voice behind the character.
Morales told The AV Club: “Anyone who watched the original show may have had an inkling Betty was a member of the alphabet mafia.
“Betty is a single mom with her own business who has twins and still has time to hang out with her friends and her community, and I think it’s just so great because examples of living your life happily and healthily as an out queer person is just such a beacon for young queer people who may not have examples of that.”
Morales explained the influence that cartoons can have on children, saying: “Betty is a fictional cartoon, but even cartoons were hugely influential for me as a kid and if I’d been watching Rugrats and seen Betty casually talking about her ex-girlfriend, I think at least a part of me would have felt like things might be okay in the future.”
The original Rugrats was in production for nine seasons over 13 years, and winning six Kids’ Choice Awards, four Daytime Emmy Awards, and even getting its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.