I had thought to start #queerpop with a post on why representation matters, something “intro”-y like that… But there are so many timely topics to post about that for the moment, my assumption is that you know why representation matters. So let’s jump right in to the pop culture discussion!
John Constantine is a DC Comics character, a working-class magician. He was letter J for my A to Z of LGBT Comics Characters in April, because he’s bisexual. He got his own TV show on NBC, and it just got cancelled. Cue “save our show” campaigns. Now, if you love Constantine, and you’re upset it’s cancelled, I certainly hope your campaign is a success and you get your show back. But other than that I really can’t find it in me to care. Because this Constantine is not bi.
Maybe this is hypocritical of me. I know people who really like the show. I kinda really liked the 2005 Constantine movie, and he wasn’t bi in that either, but at the time I didn’t know any better… And even now that I know better, I love plenty of other shows with terrible-or-absent bi representation. There’s just something about how this one was handled that really puts me off.
I don’t insist that everything I watch be about a bi person, or even a queer person! By no means! But Constantine is a bi person, and the people behind the NBC show purposefully made him not be a bi person, have said repeatedly in interviews that they know about this aspect of the character but on this show, he is not and will not be a bi person. That is called erasure, and it’s a problem in itself, but it also makes me feel unsafe with the show. I am a bi person, and this clearly indicates that I am not welcome.
I don’t get NBC, or any other channels… When I’m watching an ongoing show, I’m either bumming it off friends’ TVs or I have to buy each episode as it comes out. Nobody I know is watching Constantine, so I only have one option. Do you think I’m spending money on a show when its creators don’t want me to? No I am not.
What do you think? I’ve heard the first season is pretty good once it gets going, and I’ve attempted to convince myself to try it out on several occasions, but I just can’t do it, and this is why. Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Not into comics? No problem. Next week we’re talking about Lip Sync Battle. Don’t miss it!