Frankie Rodriguez Thanks ‘High School Musical: The Series’ Showrunner for Adding Diversity to Show

August 23, 2019 7:32PM PT

Frankie Rodriguez, who plays Carlos, an openly gay theater student, on upcoming Disney Plus series “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” thanked executive producer and showrunner Tim Federle while discussing the theme of diversity and inclusion in the spin-off at the D23 Expo on Friday.

“I think it’s very important. Growing up as a little Mexican gay kid, there’s not really much to look to so I remember after we wrapped just thanking our showrunner Tim [Federle] for creating a character like Carlos,” the actor told Variety. “He’s not a gimmick. He’s not the butt of a joke. He’s just a kid, existing in high school who loves musical theater and has a passion for it.”

Disney also debuted the first trailer for the 10 episode series premiering on the new streaming service. The new series follows the students of the East High drama club as they prepare to perform the school’s first production of “High School Musical.” Every episode will feature a different song from the popular films as well as an original song.

Along with Federle and original “High School Musical” EPs Bill Borden and Barry Rosenbush, “Pretty Little Liars” Olivia Goldstick will serve as executive producer in the series also starring Joshua Bassett, Matt Cornett, and Olivia Rodrigo.

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” joins “The Mandalorian,” docuseries “The Imagineering Story” and “Lady and the Tramp” as the first Disney Plus originals premiering with the streaming service’s debut on Nov. 12.

Watch the trailer below.

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