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It's official: Rugrats' Betty DeVille, mother of baby characters Phil and Lil, is an openly gay woman in the new Paramount+ reboot of the beloved Nickelodeon animated series, which is now available to stream on the service.
While Betty herself has always been a bit of a queer icon going back to the original series — with some fans actually unaware that she was straight in the old show — the news about the latest iteration of her character was confirmed by actor Natalie Morales (The Middleman), who voices the character on the show.
"I think anyone who watched the original show may have had an inkling Betty was a member of the alphabet mafia," says Morales, who is queer herself, in a statement to SYFY Wire. "Any representation for the community is important. 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."
She goes on to add, "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."
The news was first reported by The AV Club, who also noted that this version of Betty owns her own cafe called Betty's Beans, is a big football fan, and cracks jokes about her ex-girlfriends.
She's also a big astrology fan if the slight redesign to her outfit is anything to go by. In the original series, which ran from 1991 to 2004, Betty wore a purple sweatband and tights paired with a purple sweatshirt with a yellow female symbol on it. But her new updated 'fit sees it changed to the symbol for Gemini, which is her zodiac sign. (It's also worth noting that Gemini represents twins, so it could also be a shout-out to her children, twins Phil and Lil.)
Of course, this isn't the first time an animated series for kids has featured queer parents. Nickelodeon's The Loud House regularly features queer parents of some of the main kid characters, while Cartoon Network's Clarence also featured a pair of moms and Steven Universe featured a gay wedding between two parental figures on the show.
The first few episodes of the Rugrats reboot are currently available to stream on Paramount+.