In a vindicating development for countless fanfic writers and anyone that had their queer awakening watching Wizards of Waverly Place growing up, it turns out there was almost timeline where Selena Gomez's character Alex Russo was not only canonically bisexual, she almost ended up dating a young Hayley Kiyoko.
Appearing on the Wizards of Waverly Pod with Jennifer Stone and David DeLuise, the Disney Channel series' former executive producer, showrunner and writer Peter Murietta revealed that one of his biggest regrets was never getting to explore a possible female love interest for Gomez's character.
"I wished we could have played more with what was quite obvious to a lot of us," Murrieta admitted on the podcast. “We weren't able to at that time, but it was pretty clear to all of us what that relationship was. That would have been fun… Disney Channel has had [LGBTQ+] characters [but] at that time, it wasn't a thing. But we got as close as we could. I mean, it was pretty close.”
We know you wanted Stalex…we wanted it too. #wizardspod #wizardsofwaverlyplace #disneytok
Kiyoko's stint on Wizards of Waverly Place as fellow wizard Stevie was brief, lasting only about four episodes, but was memorable enough to earn a ship name, Stalex, in the process. Looking back, there was some pretty obvious chemistry between the two that probably could have gone further if Disney's censors didn't nip the idea in the bud. Even Kiyoko has previously admitted that she wasn't able to prevent her "lesbian energy" from bleeding into Stevie.
"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," Kiyoko told them. in 2022. "But obviously, [for] the fans who have watched the show, Stevie is a part of their gay awakening."
In the years since, Disney has come a long ways with shows like The Owl House, Andi Mack and other shows featuring openly queer characters and storylines. “If we were just a few years down the line, we maybe could have played with that,” Stone, who played Harper on the show, remarked.
As for Gomez, the actor recently revealed on the podcast last month that one of her biggest regrets since leaving the show was that she never made an effort to stay in touch with her former co-stars. "I felt ashamed of the decisions that I made and I didn’t want you guys to see me in the state that I was in because A, you would've told me the truth, which terrifies me, and B, I didn’t want to let you down."
Photo via Getty/Tibrina Hobson/FilmMagic
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