Monday, September 5, 2016
Week of 09/05/2016
Stop Using LGBT As A Media Alternate!
I’m going to preface this by saying that I’m not part of the LGBT community. As a libertarian, I support their efforts on freedom and equality, but, personally, that’s not my thing.
I say that in the hopes that those in the LGBT community will not take what I have to say the wrong way. There is something stinking like rotted fish in social media and entertainment that needs to be said and it does involve perceptions of the LGBT community.
There’s a character in the “new” CWTV series “Supergirl”, which previously aired on CBS, who is pretty much the designated friend-zone “friend”. Winn Schott (Jeremy Jordan), the son of notorious supervillain Toyman, is the tech-savvy friend of the young superheroine played by Melissa Benoist. He’s also terribly in love with Supergirl, a.k.a. Kara Danvers, and always has been even before she made her hero debut. Unfortunately, those feelings weren’t mutual, and he was quickly friend-zoned, which, take it from me, is worse than even the Phantom Zone.
His second foray into relationships wasn’t any easier. He ended up falling for an overeager office bully named Siobhan Smythe (Italia Ricci), only to find out that Siobhan had an obsessive hatred of his best friend. In fact, after she got fired because of her backstabbing ways, she became the supervillain Silver Banshee.
Poor Winn. He just can’t get a break, can he?
So there was an effort in social media to give Winn an “easy out” of his bad social life... by making him gay.
Actually you can blame the actor himself for coming up with the idea. He suggested that his character should come out as being gay. It should be noted that he is happily married in his personal life and is not gay, but somehow he thinks his character should be, and others in social media are eager to push for it.
I’m sorry, but... no. That’s not how human behavior works.
Look, you introduce a character that is, to quote the Little River Band, a “Lonesome Loser”. You friend-zone him, you pair him up with a sociopath office bully who becomes a supervillain, you even give him a father who is a supervillain, but you otherwise don’t do too much character development with him. You don’t flip the switch and suddenly make him gay as a way to “develop” him. That’s not “development”. That’s a Pink Kryptonite retcon that you can’t even blame on Barry Allen!
Let’s get brutally honest here... this asinine idea of using homosexuality as an “alternate” to a non-existent social life is about as ignorant and insulting as the idea of making male friendships into “Brokeback Mountain” ones. Homosexuality and transsexuality should not be treated as an “alternative” to people that just can’t find that “certain someone”. That’s insulting to all sexual preferences, and it suggests to the critics of the LGBT community that they might be right about their delusions that being gay or lesbian is just a “phase” that can be treated with therapy.
The executive producers of the “Supergirl” series are also the creators and executive producers of “Arrow” and “The Flash” and “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow”, and they had no problems bringing gay characters and same-sex relationships into those shows. If someone feels they need to bring one into “Supergirl”, then create one! Bring a new character in instead of changing one that you feel is under-utilized. It’s not like you have a narrow field of characters to choose from.
If you want to seriously develop Winn’s character in “Supergirl”, then there is no better challenge than to do so with someone continually cast into the “Friend-Zone”! Don’t make him gay. Make him visible! Play on the fact that this is a sad and lonely person who is struggling for appreciation and pining for that certain someone. What does Winn do when he’s not helping Kara? Does he spend that time hacking into things that he shouldn’t? Does he troll the bars? Does he play “Worlds of Warcraft”? Hell, does he play “DC Universe Online”? Does he play music? Does he play music badly? Does he have a pet or a plant or fish? Does he suck at caring for a pet or a plant or fish? These are all things that help explain the character to the audience that don’t require a significant change in sexual orientation.
I get that some people want to feel like they’re “hip” to the LGBT community. Not too long ago people in the entertainment world felt they had to bring in an Africa-American, or an Asian-American, or an Indian-American in order to feel “hip”. Whatever the “new demographic” was, they felt they “needed” to be inclusive. But if you’re really “hip” to the demographic, then you would know to not treat it as a gimmick. They’re people. Treat them as people, not as token demographics.