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Disney Censors Gave Gravity Falls Creator A Dizzying Number Of Notes

A decade after it first debuted, "Gravity Falls" retains a passionate fan base, as evidenced by a vibrant Reddit community and endless fan content on Tumblr. In celebration of the show's tin anniversary, creator Alex Hirsch has been posting special artwork and behind-the-scenes looks at some of its most iconic moments to his social media.

But many fans may not be aware of how hard Hirsch had to fight to keep his creation the way he intended it. Since the show was produced by Disney and aired on its Disney XD channel, it was subject to the company's infamously strict family-friendly content standards. Most notably, the media giant has been reticent to include LGBTQ+ characters, even in its adult programming. When the idea of Disney making another R-rated Deadpool movie isn't certain, it's easy to imagine how much more scrutiny a children's show like "Gravity Falls" would be under, despite being enjoyed by people of all ages.

Indeed, it seems Hirsch often had to fight tooth-and-nail to keep some fairly innocuous jokes from being censored by the House of Mouse. As a final treat for fans during the 10th-anniversary celebration, the showrunner revealed some of the most absurd requests Disney made of him.

Disney forced Alex Hirsch to make some ridiculous script changes

While celebrating 10 years of "Gravity Falls," creator Alex Hirsch unveiled a video on Twitter detailing some of the more unusual script changes requested by Disney's Standards and Practices department, as well as his replies to them. The S&P, as it is commonly abbreviated, is Disney's censorship department, making sure that all content the company produces adheres to its strict standards for family-friendliness.

Among Disney's notes to Hirsch: that using the word "Kentucky" in the phrase, "There once was a man from Kentucky," would lead to "unsavory rhymes" being made up by viewers; that the word "crud" has an "inappropriate slang definition"; that the use of the word "Lucifer" would lead to complaints from religious viewers. To the latter note, Hirsch responded, "I see no reason to change this. The devil isn't real."

Slightly more concerning was Disney S&P's request to remove a moment where the character Blubs (Kevin Michael Richardson) puts his arm around Durland (Keith Ferguson), a gesture that the department was concerned would read as "flirtatious." To this, Hirsch responded, "Nope. They're...buddies." Replied Disney S&P, "The gesture is approved in this context." Durland and Blubs were later confirmed to be a couple, but that's not the only time Hirsch got in trouble for depicting a same-sex relationship. Disney once threatened to cut a quick scene where two women fall in love if Hirsch and his team didn't remove it themselves.

In a subsequent tweet, Hirsch attached two more of Disney's censorious notes, writing, "I have literally *thousands* of these. Each one still haunts me".