Charlie Owens, 11, who lives in St. Louis, Missouri, will appear on a new children’s show called “Mack & Moxy,” in an upcoming episode about inclusion. Owens has autism, and Easter Seals, a nonprofit that supports children and adults on the spectrum, recommended him to be on the program, according to Disability Scoop.
In “Mack & Moxy,” kids appear as themselves, and after a few minutes, they are transformed into animated “Trooper” characters to assist Moxy the raccoon and Mack the moose. Celebrities like Rachael Ray and Josh Duhamel also appear on the show as “Admirables,” and Hank Azaria voices the character of Shellfish Sheldon.
In an episode titled, “A Spectrum of Possibilities,” Mack and Moxy are joined by Owens, or “Trooper Charlie,” and the group meet a bird who also has autism, according to a plot synopsis on TV Guide.
“One of our writers wanted to ensure an episode in season one focused on autism inclusion because his child is on the spectrum,” Kellee McQuinn, co-executive producer for the show told The Mighty. “Everyone has been so passionate about this particular episode and we all understood the sensitivities of having a child with Autism star in a national television show. Charlie’s not an actor; and together we worked together to make sure he was comfortable on the set and well prepared before it came time to taping and recording his episode.”
Check local listings to see when “Mack & Moxy” is on near you.
Clarification: “Mack and Moxy” is distributed by American Public Television (APT). The Mighty previously reported that it was a PBS show. PBS stations will be airing the program, but it is not distributed by PBS or PBS Kids.