Selena Gomez's role in 'Wizards of Waverly Place’ was supposed to be queer, showrunner confirmed
The Wizards of Waverly Place showrunner revealed that Selena Gomez' character, Alex Russo, was bisexual.
In the March 28 episode of Wizards of Waverly Place podcast, series showrunner and head writer Peter Murrieta revealed to Jennifer Stone (Harper Finkle in the series) that he wanted to explore an LGBTQ love story angle between Selena's Alex and guest star Hayley Kiyoko's Stevie Nichols.
In the series, Hayley plays a troublemaking wizard named Stevie who befriends fellow wizard Alex. The duo has long been a shipped by fans for their chemistry.
“I wished we could have played more with—what was quite obvious to a lot of us, was the relationship between Stevie and Alex, but we weren’t able to in that time,” he said. “But it was pretty clear to all of us what that relationship was, that would’ve been fun.”
Jennifer agreed, saying “If it would just a few years down the line we maybe could’ve played with that.”
Although Disney has featured queer characters in their latest works—Ethan Clade from Strange World and Cyrus Goodman in Andi Mack— Peter went on to explain that Disney Channel had its own limitations, especially at that time.
“Disney has had characters and they did it, [but] at that time, it wasn’t a thing,” he said, adding: “but we got as close as we could to. I mean, it was pretty close, it’s pretty much right there, that would’ve been great.”
In a separate interview last year, Hayley, who is a lesbian, told Them that she is aware that fans are shipping their characters.
“At this time, I wasn’t openly queer, and so when I was on Wizards, I think anytime I was doing a show I felt very insecure or exposing myself as a flaming lesbian,” she said. “But obviously [for] the fans who have watched the show, Stevie is a part of their gay awakening, and I wasn’t able to mask my lesbian energy very much in the character.”
Wizards of Waverly Place is a 2007 Disney original series that explored the magical adventure of the wizard family of Russos while living at the Waverly Place in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. It ran four seasons starring Selena Gomez, David Henrie, Jake Austin, and David DeLuise.