Here’s the Dirty Joke That May Have Killed the ‘Lizzie McGuire’ Reboot
When Hilary Duff sang, “This is what dreams are made of,” Disney insisted that those dreams should be bone dry.
In August 2019, Disney announced that the upcoming launch of their streaming service Disney+ would be supported by the return of a legendary figure in the Disney Channel canon: Lizzie McGuire, the mid-millennial voice of a generation, was coming back to the small screen in a new format and with a grown-up attitude. Duff had long been advocating for another installment of her most iconic character’s life that would address the complexities of womanhood with the same flair that made her a defining teen star of the early 2000s, and the Lizzie McGuire reboot was poised to be a slam-dunk tentpole series to kick off Disney+. However, disagreements between the Lizzie McGuire creative team and the Disney brass over the tone and content of a show about a 30-year-old woman whose life would presumably no longer be 100-percent child-friendly derailed the project, and in late 2020, production halted after the completion of just two episodes and never resumed. The reboot was scrapped. Dreams were dashed.
TikToker and TV writer Jonathan Hurwitz was a member of the writing team on the reboot, and in a series of videos posted last week, he told his side of the story in which Disney executives strangled the seemingly sure-thing hit series over disagreements concerning what constituted appropriate content. Apparently, no one at Disney was willing to let Lizzie get laid.
In the videos, Hurwitz detailed a handful of jokes that caused friction between the creative team and their business bosses, the first of which was just a simple quote from the classic Broadway musical A Chorus Line. In the song “Dance: Ten, Looks: Three,” there are roughly eight repetitions of the phrase “tits and ass!” gleefully sprinkled throughout the classic ditty. Well, when Hurwitz and his writers wanted to have a character sing a certain bar from the iconic song, the producers decided that their choice of words fell flat.
Then, in a later episode, Hurwitz said that he and the writers planned for Lizzie to find herself in bed with her old high school boy Ethan Craft one morning when her “animated Lizzie” persona would pop up with a little cartoon “to-do” list for the day, checking off a box that just read, “Ethan.” Hurwitz said that, when he reflects on storylines and scenes that may have influenced Disney’s decision to kill the project, “That moment was probably one of them.”
With the hit-rate on original Disney+ shows so dismally low, it’s too bad that Disney executives couldn’t accept that, since the original audience for Lizzie McGuire was already well into adulthood, a couple copulation jokes in the reboot wouldn’t be out of place. Disney may be a kid-focused company, but someone’s gotta make the kids.