Betty DeVille is gay. That news will either shock folks or confirm their assumptions. Back in the 90s, on the original Rugrats series, the character was married to the shy and quiet Howie DeVille and mom to the babies Lil and Phil. Many adults – generally the parents of kids watching the show – decided that Betty, with her wrestling background, feminist sweaters, and tough talk, was either a lesbian or bisexual. Now, in the Paramount+ Rugrats reboot that debuts May 27, Betty is a single mom and an out lesbian, and she’s voiced by queer actress Natalie Morales, whose credits include Parks and Recreation, The Grinder, and Dead to Me.
“Anyone who watched the original show may have had an inkling Betty was a member of the alphabet mafia,” Morales told the A.V. Club in an exclusive statement. “Betty is (now) a single mom with her own business who has twins and still has time to hang out with her friends and her community, and I think it’s just so great because examples of living your life happily and healthily as an out queer person is just such a beacon for young queer people who may not have examples of that.”Morales added that such representation is important for young people trying to understand themselves and their burgeoning sexuality. “And, yeah,” she said, “Betty is a fictional cartoon, but even cartoons were hugely influential for me as a kid and if I’d been watching Rugrats and seen Betty casually talking about her ex-girlfriend, I think at least a part of me would have felt like things might be okay in the future.”The big news has many fans, including us, wondering what happened to Howie. Was he gay, too? Did he and Betty have an open relationship? Is he dead? The new Rugrats is streaming now on Paramount+.