Disney+'s 'Baymax' Series Stirs up Controversy With Specific Scene

Disney+'s new series Baymax! has sparked controversy online for showing a Trans character buying menstrual pads and advising the inflatable robot on which kind to purchase. During "Sofia," the third episode of the series, Sofia visits the single-gender restroom at her middle school, where she gets her first period. 

Baymax, the robot companion specializing in healthcare, is on hand to help and heads to the supermarket to get menstrual products for the pre-teen girl. While at the store, Baymax encounters a transmasculine character wearing a transgender flag shirt, who offers advice, suggesting, "I always get the ones with wings."

When it becomes evident that the robot is purchasing products for a young girl, various random shoppers emerge from nowhere and start offering recommendations. After Baymax hears all the suggestions, he walks out of the store with a huge bag filled with feminine hygiene products. 

Despite the girl's embarrassment, the robot shows tutorial videos on how to use the products, encouraging her to apply them and compete in the talent competition at school. In another episode, Baymax uses his ability to analyze attraction to persuade two young men to go on a date together. After one of them invites the other out to dinner, Baymax says, "Your pulse and heartbeat have quickened. The robot adds, "Your pituitary gland is secreting hormones," before an embarrassed man cuts him off.

Although numerous social media users have hailed Baymax as a gay icon, there are still people who object to the series' purported bias. Christopher Rufo, a conservative writer, shared the leaked clip of the mascot shopping for tampons before the episodes were released today, disagreeing with the idea that young children should view such content.

"EXCLUSIVE: I've obtained leaked video from Disney's upcoming show "Baymax," which promotes the transgender flag and the idea that men can have periods to children as young as two years old," he tweeted. "It's all part of Disney's plan to re-engineer the discourse around kids and sexuality."

Others have hailed Disney's decision to put more inclusive characters in a children's show. One Twitter user replied to Rufo, "Saying that periods are about sexuality is what sexualizes children. It's a bodily function, and we should talk about it more and be embarrassed by it less."

It's not the first time conservatives have been critical of Disney for "forcing" LGBTQ narratives and characters into its films. Both Turning Red and Lightyear drew the ire of right-wing pundits. A few scenes in Turning Red deal with pads or tampons, which stirred up controversy. There was also a scene in Lightyear where two married women exchanged a quick kiss on-screen, prompting one Oklahoma theater to post a warning about the film.

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The film Baymax! is a spin-off of the hit movie Big Hero 6, which tells the story of a robotics prodigy, Hiro, whose brother, Tadashi, dies tragically in an accident. Baymax, a friendly inflatable robot created to help people, becomes his best friend. Upon reprogramming Baymax, Hiro transforms him into an Iron Man-like superhero who flies and fights evil.

Disney states that in the follow-up to the film, Baymax "returns to the fantastical city of San Fransokyo," and "sets out to do what he was programmed to do: help others. The six-episode series of healthcare capers introduces extraordinary characters who need Baymax's signature approach to healing in more ways than they realize." Baymax! is streaming now on Disney+, along with the original Big Hero 6.