Alan Cumming(l), Cher(c), Chucky Doll(r) in front of lgbtqia flag

Svet foto/Shutterstock Lev Radin/Shutterstock Tinseltown/Shutterstock (Licensed)

Peacock’s Pride collection paints a compelling picture of queer fandom

Digging deeper into their pride collection, we can get a better understanding of how Peacock understands their LGBTQ subscribers.


Kira Deshler

Pop Culture

Decoding Fandom is a weekly column that dives deep into the world of fan culture and runs on Wednesdays in the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter. If you want to get this column a day before we publish it, subscribe to web_crawlr, where you’ll get the daily scoop of internet culture delivered straight to your inbox. 

Each year during Pride Month, social media users love to make fun of how out-of-touch corporations celebrate the holiday. This year, the image that has captured the internet’s attention was Peacock’s banner graphic for their “Amplifying LGBTQ+ Voices” collection. The image features three figuresCherAlan Cumming, and the killer doll Chucky.

On X, the response was either “I love this” or “What is going on?” Specifically, the inclusion of the pint-sized maniac was the nexus of either celebration or confusion online. But whether the lineup immediately makes sense to you or not, what Peacock has created here is a pretty compelling encapsulation of what queer fandom can look like.

If you’re not a Chucky fan, I won’t leave you in suspense as to why Peacock may have included him front and center in the collection. For starters, the series was created by a gay man, Don Mancini, who also serves as the showrunner of the contemporary Chucky TV series. Unlike the Babadook, who became an accidental gay icon, Chucky’s queer bona fides are more concrete.

2000’s Bride of Chucky included one of the first positive representations of a gay character in horror, while in 2004’s The Seed of Chucky, the doll and his wife have a child who shares his body with a girl. The latter film also stars both Jennifer Tilly—star of Bound—and iconic gay filmmaker John Waters.

In the Chucky TV series, Chucky references his genderfluid child and says he supports him because he’s “not a monster,” a scene that circulates every June to prove how much of an ally Chucky is. The main character in Chucky, Jake, is a gay teenager who has a sweet relationship with his boyfriend. In short, the Chucky franchise is both implicitly queer as an off-kilter horror series and explicitly so in terms of its characters and storylines. Chucky’s earned his status as a queer icon.

The other figures on the graphic represent the two other facets of queer fandom: Cher and reality TV. Okay, Cher isn’t a genre of media in and of herself, but she does represent a prominent aspect of gay fandom: the pop diva. And Alan Cumming’s The Traitors has been the hit of the season and further cements the connection between the queer community and reality TV, a genre often defined by its campy sensibility.

Peacock’s ‘Amplifying LGBTQ+ Voices’ collection

Digging deeper into their pride collection, we can get a better understanding of how Peacock understands their LGBTQ subscribers. The most interesting part of the collection is the “LGBTQIA+ Icons and Legends” category. This section includes Natasha Lyonne’s series Poker FaceThe NannyVanderpump Rules, two documentaries about Princess Diana, and Law and Order: SVU.

Again, these connections might not be obvious unless you’re in the know.

Natasha Lyonne is a beloved lesbian icon despite identifying as straight (she’s been described as the Stanley Tucci of lesbians), which likely explains her inclusion in the collection. Fran Drescher’s The Nanny is revered by queer folks for her style and bawdy personality, and Princess Diana has long been admired by those in the queer community for her activism and support during the AIDS crisis.

Law and Order: SVU may be the most perplexing series on this list, though the potential throughlines here are numerous. Mariska Hargitay’s Olivia Benson is the sort of badass, take-no-prisoners character often favored by gay and lesbian viewers, and the series has included numerous queer and trans storylines over the years—through the tastefulness of these narratives are up for debate. Then there’s the relationship between Benson and the ADA Alex Cabot (Stephanie March), a hugely popular ship among queer women.

To be sure, some of these choices are bound to be controversial. Why should a straight woman like Natasha Lyonne be celebrated for Pride Month? But this collection also tells us something about how fandom—specifically queer fandom—functions. 

Sometimes, viewers are drawn to a story or character because it resonates with them, and when this experience becomes a communal one, that’s when fandom emerges. When these resonances aren’t understood by those outside the group, this only makes the feeling of kinship stronger. If you know, you know, and in this case, Peacock gets it. 

Why it matters

Corporations don’t belong at Pride has become a common refrain among LGBTQ people in recent years, and that sentiment still rings true

We shouldn’t praise a multi-million dollar company for doing the bare minimum to support the community, but at least they’re showing Chucky the respect he deserves.

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