The creators of Big Mouth have apologised after “missing the mark” in an explanation of pansexuality and bisexuality.
The animated Netflix series returned last week (October 4) for its third season and introduced a new character called Ali, voiced by comedian Ali Wong.
In one episode, Ali came out as pansexual, explaining: “Bisexuality is so binary. Being pansexual means my sexual preference isn’t limited by gender identity. Some of you borings like tacos and some of you like burritos, and if you’re bisexual you like tacos and burritos.
“I’m saying I like tacos and burritos, and I could be into a taco that was born a burrito, or a burrito that’s transitioning into a taco, comprende? And honey, anything else on the fucking menu.”
However, some viewers were not happy with the explanation, which both implied that bisexuality is not inclusive of trans and non-binary identities and that trans people are of a separate gender, exclusive to male and female. In a statement posted to Twitter, co-creator Andrew Goldberg thanked the queer community for calling the show’s team out on the error.
— Andrew Goldberg (@BigMouthAndrew) October 7, 2019
“We missed the mark here with this definition of bisexuality vs pansexuality, and my fellow creators and I sincerely apologise for making people feel misrepresented,” he wrote. “Any time we try to define something as complex as human sexuality, it’s super challenging, and this time we could have done better.
“Thank you to the trans, pan, and bi communities for further opening our eyes to these important and complicated issues of representation. We are listening and we look forward to delving into all of this in future seasons.”
In NME’s review of Big Mouth season 3, writer James McMahon called the scene “uncharacteristically clumsy” and said it “most likely offends anyone who identifies as either”. “For the most part though, Big Mouth is still the best TV programme made about the teenage experience currently on television,” he concluded. “It’s important, useful, funny – and timely proof that this new iteration of woke comedy doesn’t hinder humour, but refine it.”