Phil and Lil’s mom Betty in Rugrats will be an openly gay woman in the upcoming Paramount+ reboot of the beloved cartoon. Betty will be voiced by anti-Trump actor Natalie Morales.
Morales told The A.V. Club she’s excited to take her place with Rugrats by voicing Betty and thinks “anyone who watched the original show may have had an inkling Betty was a member of the alphabet mafia.”
Morales — who called the Cuban Americans who voted to re-election Donald Trump “10000 percent brainwashed” — also detailed just what appeals to her in the new characterization, telling the outlet:
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.
And yeah, Betty is a fictional cartoon, but even cartoons were hugely influential for me as a kid 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.
Newsweek reports the change was first hinted at late last year in an interview that actor Melanie Chartoff, who voices Didi Pickles, gave to the Back to the Best podcast. “One of the characters is now a lesbian,” said Chartoff.
“Some of the characters are of different minority, ethnic minorities, now. We had some before, now we’re going to have more. So, it’s going to be a much more, I’d say, liberally intended show.”
The new show premieres May 27 on Paramount+.