A new PSA encouraging kids to dress up as they please for Halloween includes a twist in the final 30 seconds that's garnering praise.
Called "My Heroes," the two-minute video by Landwirth Legacy Productions features a family celebrating Halloween in typical fashion: buying costumes, carving pumpkins, getting excited for the candy in their near future. The kids, a boy and a girl, decide to go as Batman and Wonder Woman, but the parents — especially the dad — seem a bit anxious for some reason.
After a successful night of trick-or-treating, both children are tuckered out by the TV, having eaten their fair share of sweets. It's subtle, but eagle-eyed viewers will notice that the children's faces haven't been shown since they both got into costume.
In the final moments of the PSA, as the parents tuck in their kids, it's revealed that the boy is dressed as Wonder Woman, while the girl is Batman. The PSA ends as the dad — his earlier anxiety now revealed to be that his kids would be treated differently because of their costumes — whispers, "My heroes," before turning off the light. It's definitely a tearjerker.
People who've watched it are having e m o t i o n s.
The PSA is clearly tugging on the heartstrings of many, and its message is an important one to keep in mind.
Brian Carufe, one of the PSA's co-writers, said the production team wanted to make something that nudges audiences in the right direction when it comes to breaking gender norms.
"Society is traditionally slow at accepting new status quos, and gender nonconformity is no different," he writes in an email. "While we made the film knowing it would resonate with the LGBT community, it carries a message that’s universal, namely being comfortable and confident in every life choice regardless of the opinions of others."
But Alexander Day, the PSA's executive producer and lead writer, hopes the video will have an especially big impact on the parents and kids who see it.
"This Halloween, little boys and girls all over the world will be unable to dress up as they want because of fear they will be teased [and] bullied, or because of unaccepting parents,” he writes in an email. "This video is for them, and I hope that that child out there sees this and realizes they are our greatest superheroes for being themselves."
Every kid deserves to celebrate Halloween in a costume they love — whether they're more of a Batman or a Wonder Woman.