Child’s Play Creator Says He Embraces The Series’ Gay Identity

Cult of Chucky

As well as continuing the murderous exploits of the infamous killer doll, the upcoming Chucky TV show will also provide the opportunity to acknowledge the various forms of self-identification that the Child’s Play series has taken on over the years. One of these, an unintended gay identity, has now been discussed by franchise creator Don Mancini.

When Child’s Play debuted in 1988, there was certainly no intent to create an LGBT icon in a wisecracking, three-foot, toy serial killer, but Mancini is aware that the series has developed such a perception over its multiple installments, and it’s one that he’s happy to accept.

“We’ve sort of embraced, over the years, a kind of specific gay identity for the franchise. I think it’s just being attentive to what is going on in the culture and what is going in the zeitgeist at any given time, and then using Chucky to get at those issues in an interesting, fun way. We plug him in as a different metaphor depending on the era that we’re in.”

Although the horror world is generally more accepting of marginalized people, it being a community effectively made up of outcasts who one way or another don’t properly fit in to the rest of society, Mancini is one of its few successful writers who’s also openly gay, with Scream’s Kevin Williamson and Hellraiser’s Clive Barker being some others.

While the series doesn’t specifically defy the ‘Bury Your Gays’ trope prevalent in horror and thrillers, which states that characters who are anything other than straight have a considerably lower chance of coming out of the story still breathing, the portrayal of the two identifiably gay characters the series has featured, Bride of Chucky‘s David and Cult of Chucky‘s Jesse, were considerably less stereotypical than might otherwise have been portrayed. Seed of Chucky introduced the gender-fluid Glen/Glenda, and you could even argue that as a living doll, Chucky himself is technically non-binary, although he does display typically masculine characteristics.

Even though the rights of LGBT people have progressed in the three decades since the series’ debut, there is still a long way to go, with legislation allowing for homophobia existing in many insidious forms, while in some countries it even being a state requirement. For all its camp absurdity, Child’s Play has given such people something to latch on to, and it can only be hoped that the new TV show will continue to do so.