Healthy and General

‘Each One Still Haunts Me’

2 min read

Critically acclaimed Disney Channel show “Gravity Falls” concluded in 2016 and has been declared one of the best animated series of all time. Yet let’s just say that Disney execs didn’t always see the kid appeal — rather, more of a NSFW tint.

“Gravity Falls” creator Alex Hirsch shared “real emails from the Disney TV Standards and Practices Department” in a Twitter video on June 16, over six years since the series wrapped.

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“Ever curious about the fights I had with the censors on ‘Gravity Falls’? I probably shouldn’t share this buttttt here are some REAL NOTES from DISNEY S&P and my REAL REPLIES,” Hirsch captioned. “You are not prepared #10YearsOfGravityFalls.”

Hirsch, who currently is writing and producing an as-yet-untitled Netflix series, added, “I have literally *thousands* of these. Each one still haunts me.”

The series centered on twins Dipper (Jason Ritter) and Mabel (Kristen Schaal) who spend the summer in the mysterious town of Gravity Falls to help their great-uncle Stan (voiced by Hirsch) run his “Mystery Shack.” The kids set out to uncover the mystery of what happened to Stan’s brother, plus battle a supernatural creature that might destroy their town.

Per Hirsch’s Twitter video, Disney’s S&P department asked Hirsch to revise phrases like “chub pup” and “poopface” in the kids show. “Please revise ‘poopface’ as it comes across as a replacement for ‘shitface,’” one email read.

Another added “chub” has a “sexual connotation,” while another edit said: “It has come to our attention that ‘hoo-ha’ is a slang term for vagina. Please revise.”

Hirsch replied that a t-shirt with the phrase “chub pup” on it has no sexual connotation whatsoever to male genitalia. “This is silly,” the “Inside Job” creator wrote. “It’s an image of a fat dog.”

Things got even more tangled with dialogue that could be inferred to have religious ties, including a character using “jeez” out of exasperation. Disney S&P argued it was an “abbreviation for Jesus.” Executives even debated if a quote had ties to a “furry fetish” when adults dress up like animals and animated characters for sexual purposes.

Hirsch joked in another tweet, “Disney: Please enjoy our classics Robin Hood, The Lion King, and Zootopia! Furries: Okay. Disney: NO NOT LIKE THAT.”

He added that Disney S&P sent more than 3,000 emails over the course of his 39-episode show.

As part of an IndieWire roundup of best animated series, “Gravity Falls” was likened to if “Twin Peaks,” “The X-Files,” “Northern Exposure,” “Scooby Doo,” and “Diff’rent Strokes” were put in a blender. The series was applauded for its mythology, pop culture references, and “a mystery that grown-ups were often more invested in.”

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