During an appearance on the Wizards of Waverly Pod podcast, Disney Channel showrunner Peter Murrieta confirmed Alex Russo’s bisexuality and the relationship he wished they could have explored.
The Wizards of Waverly Place series, which ran on Disney Channel from 2007 to 2012, followed a family of wizards who also run a sandwich shop in Manhattan. The young wizards, played by Selena Gomez, David Henrie, and Jake T. Austin, must train to master their skills or lose them entirely during the wizard competition. The series gained a massive fanbase, especially towards the main character Alex Russo (played by Gomez).
Disney Channel Showrunner Confirms Alex’s Bisexuality
In a recent interview, showrunner Peter Murrieta revealed that there was a part of Alex’s character he wished the show could have explored but was unable to at Disney at the time.
“I wished we could have played more with what was quite obvious to a lot of us, which was the relationship between Stevie and Alex,” Murrieta told series stars David DeLuise and Jennifer Stone on the Wizards of Waverly Pod podcast.
Stevie, played by our lesbian Jesus Hayley Kiyoko, was a minor character in the series. She guest-starred in four episodes and befriended Alex because of their mutual love for causing chaos. Spoiler alert: Alex ultimately betrays Stevie when she stops her revolution in season three. Many interpreted the two troublemakers’ relationship as more than friendly, but nothing ever became of their relationship on-screen.
‘Wizards Of Waverly Place’ showrunner confirms Alex Russo was bisexual and wanted to do more with Alex and Stevie’s relationship, but they weren’t allowed by Disney Channel at that time. pic.twitter.com/l2IJKDsPXs
— Pop Base (@PopBase) March 27, 2023
“We weren’t able to in that time, but it was pretty clear to all of us what that relationship was,” Murrieta continued. “And that would have been fun.”
DeLuise and Stone noted that the storyline might have worked in a current Disney Channel series, and the showrunner agreed.
“Yeah, they did it. Disney Channel has had [LGBTQ] characters, and they did it.
Longtime fans of the series are rejoicing at the confirmation of Alex’s bisexuality and are even applauding the showrunners for their attempt at representation.
I KNEW ITTTT https://t.co/oQhAXm874w pic.twitter.com/5GPJcfdCaq
— kenz (@mckenziedecarlo) March 28, 2023
WIN FOR THE BISEXUAL AND LGBT COMMUNITY pic.twitter.com/Z2ToDe0jDQ https://t.co/Y9fjMrVcfP
— zayn 🌟 (@Zaynfandomaniac) March 28, 2023
“At that time, it wasn’t a thing,” he explained. “But, we got as close as we could… I mean it was pretty close. It was pretty much right there.”
Disney Channel did not introduce LGBTQ+ characters to their content until 2014. However, it was a minor scene where two moms made a brief appearance on Good Luck Charlie. The first main queer character did not come until 2019 when Cyrus Goodman came out as gay in an episode of Andi Mack.
Hayley Kiyoko Reflects on Her Disney Career
Last year, Kiyoko spoke with them about being in the closet during her Disney Channel career.
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“At this time, I wasn’t openly queer, and so when I was on Wizards, I think anytime I was doing a show I felt very insecure or exposing myself as a flaming lesbian,” she said.
“But obviously, the fans who have watched the show, Stevie is a part of their gay awakening, and I wasn’t able to mask my lesbian energy very much in the character,” she added.
Kiyoko also brought to life another queer icon, Stella Yamada in Lemonade Mouth. “Looking back, I was also in the closet at this time. It’s really cool to look back and see that my character in this movie was almost like foreshadowing my future self.”
Watch the full episode of the Wizards of Waverly Pod here.
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