Disney Doubles Down, Clarifies Freeform’s Identity to Fans Missing ABC Family

in Disney, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Television

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Credit: Freeform

What was once ABC Family is now that member of the family. That is, the Disney Corporate Family. And Disney is standing by in full support.

Freeform — the Disney-owned network that used to be known as ABC Family before its name change and rebrand years ago — recently released a statement acknowledging the difference in content found on Freeform that wasn’t always what was expected from ABC Family.

Here’s the full statement via Freeform‘s social media:

It’s Freeform’s 4th birthday, and well… There still seems to be a bit of confusion surrounding who we are now, so let’s clear that up.
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ABC Family was a brand you knew and loved for years. Nostalgia is legit. But so is the reality that bold ideas outgrow the past. Which is not to say that Freeform is not for family viewing. It still is. Sometimes. SOMETIMES. Like how your favorite Disney and Pixar movies are still in full effect on Funday weekends.
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The thing is…there are adults and “almost-adults”—a lot of them—who love both the animated classics ~and~ unapologetic conversation about what propels society forward. Y’all. Mickey Mouse has a Gucci line now. We out here. And Freeform is for us.
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And while we’re telling good stories and having fun, we’re also doing things like—oh idk—championing racial equality, LGBTQ+ rights, women deserving equal pay for equal work, putting an end to standards of beauty and “the right body type” that are oh so tired, and <whispers> sex… ‘Cause this stuff is all real and relevant to a lot of people.
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And we’re going to continue to be a different kind of network. One with a point of view that dares to talk about what matters, even at the risk of making a few folks uncomfortable, at first. To have meaningful conversation, sometimes you have to *start* the conversation. Listen, our social accounts are a place for discussion, and we always want to hear from you. So chime in, let your voice be heard. We’ve got lots to talk about and we’re just getting started. We’re not a traditional “family network” anymore, but you all are our family. 

You can see the original Instagram post here:

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It’s Freeform’s 4th birthday, and well… There still seems to be a bit of confusion surrounding who we are now, so let’s clear that up. __ ABC Family was a brand you knew and loved for years. Nostalgia is legit. But so is the reality that bold ideas outgrow the past. Which is not to say that Freeform is not for family viewing. It still is. Sometimes. SOMETIMES. Like how your favorite Disney and Pixar movies are still in full effect on Funday weekends. __ The thing is…there are adults and “almost-adults”—a lot of them—who love both the animated classics ~and~ unapologetic conversation about what propels society forward. Y’all. Mickey Mouse has a Gucci line now. We out here. And Freeform is for us. __ And while we’re telling good stories and having fun, we’re also doing things like—oh idk—championing racial equality, LGBTQ+ rights, women deserving equal pay for equal work, putting an end to standards of beauty and “the right body type” that are oh so tired, and <whispers> sex… ‘Cause this stuff is all real and relevant to a lot of people. __ And we’re going to continue to be a different kind of network. One with a point of view that dares to talk about what matters, even at the risk of making a few folks uncomfortable, at first. To have meaningful conversation, sometimes you have to *start* the conversation. Listen, our social accounts are a place for discussion, and we always want to hear from you. So chime in, let your voice be heard. We've got lots to talk about and we're just getting started. We're not a traditional "family network" anymore, but you all are our family. __ (Tag a friend, so maybe we only have to say this once.)

A post shared by Freeform (@freeform) on

Not a traditional “family network” anymore

Four years ago, ABC Family went through a branding evolution to become Freeform: a network that has come to host boundary-pushing programming that many fans would not consider “Family-oriented.” The most recent example of this programming is a TV show called Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, which tells the everyday struggles and misadventures of an openly gay man taking on the responsibilities of raising his teenage half-sisters (one of which has autism) after their father’s death.

You can watch the trailer for that show here:

“Why is Disney saying this? Everybody already knows what Freeform is!”

While Disney/Freeform didn’t specify what triggered the statement other than because it’s the network’s birthday, our speculation is that this response could have been needed after Freeform hosted the annual “25 Days of Christmas” on top of the “Funday weekends.” While the network took time out of their schedules to show more of the classic “Family Friendly” Christmas and Disney movies, there was no difference in the commercials played. And there are probably many cases where parents didn’t get to the TV in time when a kid’s movie ended, and a Freeform show began.

Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas Logo
Credit: Freeform

While there are viewers out there who genuinely miss the old ABC Family, this message is most likely for the parents that were caught off guard and would blame Disney for exposing their kids to some very “inappropriate content. Now, Freeform does provide quality content and allows The Walt Disney Company to offer a niche network for the audiences that love that raw, unapologetic, “in your face” kind of content. But to keep the peace, Disney might want to find a new spot for its “Funday weekends” and “25 Days of Christmas.”

What do you think of Disney standing by Freeform’s branding identity? Are you a fan of Freeform? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Freeform

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