Bill Nye used to ice cream to explain the basics of homosexuality and conversion therapy, and conservatives called him "pervy."
Bill Nye the Science Guy is a favorite for every 90s child who was able to watch him on science days in class or whose parents were cool enough to outright buy the VHS tapes to watch at home. Nye has been touted as a source for controversial subjects involving science, like climate change and genetically-modified organisms. That’s why when Netflix announced their latest original show, Bill Nye Saves the World, would be released in 2017, the hype and expectations were high.
Nye has continued to uphold his image as a scientist in the public eye as he has given his opinions on different matters, often citing scientific studies or evidence to back his claims. In the world of popular television and “fake news,” however, spouting facts isn’t always the best route and viewers are instead more easily engaged with visuals that break down tough topics.
That’s why Nye used a video of cartoon ice cream cones to explain why gay conversion therapy is wrong and ineffective, rather than just citing case studies and statistics that show that this unaccredited “therapy” has no scientific or medical backing. In fact, those who undergo gay conversion therapy have an increased likelihood of falling victim to “substance abuse, dropping out of school, HIV infection, depression, and suicide attempts,” especially if they endured the “therapy” as teenagers.
The video focuses on the most basic level of understanding homosexuality and why gay conversion therapy won’t change anything using ice cream flavors. The vanilla ice cream cone, who wants all of his peers to also become vanilla-flavored, says this:
“I just think if you want to get right with the big ice cream in the sky, change your flavor by wishing to be vanilla. Everyone should pretend to be vanilla, until they no longer have the urge to not be vanilla!”
When he talks about the “big ice cream in the sky,” vanilla is talking about god because gay conversion therapy and a misunderstanding of homosexuality is typically associated with one’s strong religious beliefs. The other flavors explain to vanilla why they love being the flavor they already are, with pistachio saying he was born pistachio and didn’t choose that and mint chocolate chip reveling in his ability to contain two flavors at once.
The video ends with the other flavors questioning vanilla’s motives behind his attempt to convert them, and speculate that maybe he has been housing a secret desire to be a bit more than just vanilla. The video branches off from the basics here and delves into a fun scene where all the flavors jump into a bowl/tray together (their idea of a pool) to celebrate being themselves and accepting the flavors as they are.
Conservatives already take issue with the message of the entire video because it states that people are born gay (or on whatever end of the LGBTQ spectrum that they find themselves) and cannot be conveniently converted. Some sites have already brought their focus to the “orgy” scene at the end and stated that the message is intended to brainwash kids, although the show strictly states that it’s meant for people ages 14 and older. The Conservative Tribune’s Kim Smith wrote,
“Bill Nye, ‘the Science Guy,’ is quickly gaining a reputation as being the pervy guy after he debuted a new video apparently aimed at children that suggests heterosexuality is just one of the many ‘flavors’ of sexuality.” She added, “It is especially offensive that Nye would intentionally use cartoon characters and ice cream, two things children love, to push his anti-Christian message. The so-called scientist is just one of many who are trying to shove their liberal views down our children’s throats, and it needs to end.”
While the video itself isn’t the best in terms of factually informing viewers, it’s meant to make the topic of homosexuality and conversion therapy and make it into an easy-to-understand, relatable moment. Watch the video below and tell us what you think in the comments.