Chucky the killer doll edited onto a glittery Pride flag background
(Syfy / Illustration by The Mary Sue)

Chucky Is a Pride Ambassador for Peacock

When Peacock launched its Pride month collection, there was some confusion online over the inclusion of a certain killer doll. Like his recent AI-driven protege M3GAN, Chucky is something of an LGBTQ+ icon.

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At the beginning of June, Peacock debuted a curated assortment of movies and shows for Pride month. The Amplifying LGBTQIA+ Voices collection predictably includes classics (The Birdcage, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) along with camp offerings (Burlesque, The Traitors) and—Child’s Play? Some people were a little surprised to see Chucky, the red-headed doll and prolific serial killer, included in the collection.

Peacock's "Amplifying LGBTQIA+ Voices" collection banner features Cher, Alan Cumming, and Chucky the killer doll

Unless you’re a horror fan or really keyed into pop culture, you probably didn’t realize that Chucky is a queer icon. Unlike the Babadook and M3GAN, horror movie characters adopted as campy mascots by extremely online members of the LGBTQ+ community, Chucky is canonically a queer ally, and he was created by a gay man—screenwriter Don Mancini.

While the first three movies in the Child’s Play franchise aren’t overtly queer-coded, the series took a distinctively campy turn with 2000’s Bride of Chucky, which includes a casually positive representation of a gay character (Damien, played by the late Alexis Arquette) at a time when such a thing was still weirdly unusual in pop culture, and especially in horror. In the 2004 follow-up, Seed of Chucky, the eponymous doll and his bride, Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly), welcome a new addition to their family: Glen (Billy Boyd), a pacifistic living doll who rejects his parents’ violent habits. But Glen is sharing his body with another soul—Glenda, a girl-doll who revels in killing. In addition to this delightfully deranged take on gender fluidity, Seed of Chucky features John Waters—queer icon and King of Filth—in a supporting role.

The New York Times recently spoke with Mancini, who also created the Chucky series, about his character’s legacy. “It has really been nice for me again, as a gay man, to have a lot of gay, queer and trans fans say that movie meant a lot to them, and that those characters meant a lot to them as queer kids,” Mancini explained. “We have been very proud to be branded as the—I don’t know if we’re the gay horror franchise, but we are a gay horror franchise.”

In Seed of Chucky, Glen/Glenda’s souls are successfully transferred into the bodies of Jennifer Tilly’s twin children (in the Chucky universe, Tilly also plays a fictional version of herself), who appear as teens in Chucky season 2. The series, which just wrapped its third season, centers on a young gay protagonist named Jake (Zackary Arthur) who finds Chucky at a yard sale at the start of season 1. During an early interaction between the two, Chucky reveals that he has a queer kid of his own. When Jake asks if Chucky is cool with that, the killer doll replies, “I’m not a monster, Jake.”

Chucky is available to stream on Peacock as part of the Queer Horror collection, which also includes Elvira’s Movie Macabre, Knock at the Cabin, and M3GAN (of course).

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Britt Hayes
Britt Hayes (she/her) is an editor, writer, and recovering film critic with over a decade of experience. She has written for The A.V. Club, Birth.Movies.Death, and The Austin Chronicle, and is the former associate editor for ScreenCrush. Britt's work has also been published in Fangoria, TV Guide, and SXSWorld Magazine. She loves film, horror, exhaustively analyzing a theme, and casually dissociating. Her brain is a cursed tomb of pop culture knowledge.