It started with a comedian.
After Disney Junior, which hosts neo-animation favorites spanning from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse to Little Einsteins, made it clear that they would not be renewing one particular TV show–a cartoon called Doc McStuffins–for a fifth season, certain people became outraged.
The first notable individual to take to Twitter was well-known stand-up act and host of CNN’s United Shades of America W. Kamau Bell. The actor and comedian posted on Friday pleading for the masses to pay attention to the show’s perilous situation and to spring to its defense.
Said Bell in a flurry of tweets, “Seriously, if you love #DocMcStuffins as much as my family, tell @DisneyJunior to #RenewDocMcStuffins!”
— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) July 1, 2016
Bell, of course, is the father of two daughters, who like many are the exact kind of audience for a show like Doc McStuffins–which is, to say, every kid in America. The beauty of the series was that it appealed to a widespread audience across the nation, averaging $500 million in sales for Disney, according to a report by the New York Times. The show follows a six year-old girl who is a “practicing doctor” at her own clinic, in which she helps heal toys with their injuries and illnesses. Not only is Doc McStuffins one of the few kid’s shows that displays a little girl participating in a traditionally man’s role in the adult world, but it is also one of the few to feature a little girl of color. It was created by Emmy-winner Chris Nee, who thanked Bell for his help in defending his show. Bell’s movement, which heavily relied on the #RenewDocMcStuffins to promote the fight, has already drawn in thousands of retweets and individual calls to action by parents and non-parents alike.
— Dara Adeeyo (@DAdeeyo) July 2, 2016
— ☔️ April ☔️ (@ReignOfApril) July 2, 2016
Many parents juxtaposed photos of their own kids emulating their favorite character, trying to show just how much this little TV program has inspired their children to want to be doctors (again, a male-dominated field).
— Magic & Real (@wiiOmii) July 2, 2016
— McKinzie Dobey (@kinzdobey) July 2, 2016
Time is also of the essence, points out Bell, because the renewal process is a tricky business. Even if Doc McStuffins ends up surviving, it will not be without casualties. “When shows don’t get picked up early they layoff their staffs,” said Bell in another tweet. “Then if they do get renewed they hire new people. That can affect quality.”
Word of whether or not Disney Junior has answered the call of the Twitter movement is still up in the air, but still parents of future doctors across the country are fighting for their little cartoon.