Paramount+'s reboot of the classic Nickelodeon cartoon Rugrats dropped on the streaming service on May 27, and in it, Phil and Lil's mother Betty DeVille is an out lesbian. In this iteration, the character runs a cafe, loves football, and cracks jokes about ex-girlfriends. Actress Natalie Morales is voicing the character, and she confirmed Betty's sexuality to The A.V. Club. Morales explained that "anyone who watched the original show may have had an inkling Betty was a member of the alphabet mafia," a nickname for the LGBTQ+ community. Morales, who is queer herself, said it was important for her that the reboot featured that kind of representation.
"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," she explained. While Betty might be a cartoon character, Morales said that even the fictional characters of her childhood were "hugely influential" on her, "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."
In the original series, Betty was married to a man named Howard, but according to an original cast member, Betty's orientation was a bit of an open secret. TMZ caught up with E.G. Daily, who voiced Tommy Pickles, and she showed her support for the reboot's decision to have Betty be gay while explaining that the original series was from a different time.
According to Daily, the cast and crew didn't discuss Betty's sexuality, but that the implications were heavy. However, during the show's original run in the '90s, Betty couldn't be an out character due to societal limitations. However, Daily couldn't be happier that the new version is able to embrace who she is and be a positive representation for the community. Catch all-new episodes of Rugrats on Paramount+, which can be subscribed to with a free trial here. Disclosure: PopCulture is owned by ViacomCBS Streaming, a division of ViacomCBS.