'The Bravest Knight' writer Daniel Errico wants to create a 'multi-dimensional hero' for children and give them more diverse role models
In an exclusive interview with MEAWW, the bestselling children's book author said that he wanted Sir Cedric to be 'a multi-dimensional hero - 'one that I did not see growing up'
Hulu's upcoming kids' TV series, 'The Bravest Knight', is all about inclusivity and just what we needed to see on children's television. The broadcasting giant is all set to drop the first five episodes of the animated show on June 21. 'The Bravest Knight' revolves around the tales of gay farmer-turned-knight Sir Cedric (TR Knight) as he recounts them to his daughter Nia (Storm Reid).
The series features one of the first ever openly same-sex families on children's TV and is based on the digital book, 'The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived', by bestselling children's author Daniel Errico.
In an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW), New York-based Errico said that the complete lack of diversity in characters of children's books inspired him to write 'The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived' in 2013.
"After reading hundreds of fairytales from the 'Fairy Book' collections of Andrew Lang, I discovered a profound lacking in diversity of characters. It stuck with me throughout my career as I grew into the freedom to write stories that I hoped could reach kids in a meaningful way. Years later, I saw two friends of mine enjoying a relationship that was every bit the fairytale romances I had read about but wasn't represented in the books," said Errico, adding that he wanted to create "a multi-dimensional hero, one that I did not see growing up".
'The Bravest Knight' has already been criticized by many who are of the opinion that children should not be introduced to the topic of homosexuality at a young age.
The show is aimed at children in the age group of 6-9 and families, and Errico points out that avoiding certain topics altogether can send messages to children that will stick with them and hurt their ability to understand themselves or others.
"We don't shield kids from marriages, we shield them from same-sex marriages. We don't shy away from talking about and reinforcing gender with kids, we deny certain gender identities," he said.
The Hulu original show's release will follow the controversial gay wedding of 'Arthur' character Mr. Ratburn, which has ignited the debate surrounding representation in children's TV shows, and whether or not kids must be exposed to seemingly complex concepts of gender and identity.
"Giving children more role models, more diverse examples or heroes, allows them a chance to explore who they are without judgment, and to know they are not alone," said Errico, after congratulating beloved Mr. Ratburn on his wedding.
"I would like children to see our characters as their friends, and to wish for them that happiness, just as the characters would for them. No one can predict if they'll fall in love and to whom, whether they'll want to get married and to whom. It's a beautiful adventure in life, and I'd like kids to know that it's up to them," he added.
The show is directed by Bad Boo Studios' Shabnam Rezaei and stars Bobby Moynihan, RuPaul, Christine Baranski, Wanda Sykes, Wilson Cruz, Teri Polo, Steven Weber, Donna Murphy, AJ McLean and more.
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