Hey Hollywood, How’s That Bigotry Paying Off For You?

On Friday news broke that after a year of struggling in the ratings, NBC is canceling its freshman comic book series, Constantine. While others took the interwebs and expressed their disappointment, I celebrated in style. vdateAfter all, for this queer nerd of color, seeing that bi-phobic tripe get canceled was nothing but sweet retribution with a nice serving of schadenfreude. Because it tackles very dark and adult themes, Constantine, as a franchise, has never had the mainstream success as say Spider-Man, Batman, or X-Men. Just the same it has an immensely loyal and devoted following. While the 2005 film which starred Keanu Reeves (aka Future Hubby #8) continues to garner a mixed reaction, I personally enjoyed it. In fact my friends and I at the time dubbed it The Prophecy 4.

Damn my future groom is FINE!!!!!!!

Where was I? Oh yeah… When news broke of a new Constantine series premiering, like many people I was most intrigued… Gollum After all, anyone who knows me is aware that I proudly support my LGBTQ superheroes. Oh yes, John Constantine is canonically bisexual and part of the family. And before any other white trolls decide to question this or my comic book street cred like they did on Twitter: 51-of-Hellblazer-x633ashesanddust2Zatanna14-1STAY MAD HOMOPHOBES!!!!!!! Then news broke that Constantine wouldn’t be bisexual in the new series.

Tommy Lee Jonessesame street1229942_10202738404640761_9190139794676721031_n10171878_10152974084244923_5505173360740507760_n10359531_320015331489298_7946377417969459502_n

gina feels

The reason? The standard BS, that Constantine’s bisexuality isn’t all that important to the character.

The mutants aren’t here for this foolishness.

Sexuality is not that crucial to John Constantine? Have you met the guy? Seriously.

It should also be noted that this isn’t the first time Executive Producer David Goyer has displayed this kind of homophobia and heterosexism. He has previously (and rightfully) come under fire for attempting to downplay and erase the sexuality of another queer protagonist, Leonardo Da Vinci in Da Vinci Demons.


History and facts be damned. Because that’s all the media needs right now another straight white superhero.


So the show struggled and limped in the ratings and S.O.S. (save our show) campaigns were launched. In the meantime myself and other alienated and boycotting fans are essentially enjoying the train wreck.


And to think the very LGBTQ fans who were boycotting this series might’ve made the difference in getting Constantine renewed for a second season.

But by no means is this the first time something like this has happened. Oh no. Hardly. We’re well aware of the fact that erasure happens on the racial front. 1084657-avatar_pics_cast_movie 21jim what black people As out gay writer David Gerrold will tell you, erasure and bigotry is all too prevalent when it comes to LGBTQ people as well. Case in point, his novel and the 2007 eponymous film: The Martian Child. DF-07420 Martian Child ,   January 1, 2005 Photo by Alan Markfield/newline.wireimage.com To license this image (5453562), contact NewLine: U.S. +1-212-686-8900 / U.K. +44-207 659 2815 / Australia +61-2-8262-9222 / Japan: +81-3-5464-7020 +1 212-686-8901 (fax) info@wireimage.com (e-mail) NewLine.wireimage.com (web site) While in the novel the protagonist is gay, in the film he is turned into a straight widower. And for those of you who are wondering, The Martian Child tanked at the box office. The irony being had they kept the protagonist gay, the film probably would’ve done far better. If nothing else than for the sheer fact that it would’ve been something different from every other bland straight white rom-com drama. It would’ve piqued curiosity and garnered disposable queer dollars like that movie about the gay guys on the mountain. 6-laws-from-lord-of-the-rings Um, yeah them too, but I meant the other gay guys on the mountain. maxresdefault It should be noted that most writers have no power over film adaptations which is why we get fails like this and the Ursula K. LeGuin’s Earthsea fiasco where the characters were whitewashed for the SyFy Channel’s miniseries. Terremer-01 LeGuin spoke out on the erasure and the whitewashing of the films on Salon. Neil Gaiman has also had to deal with the Hollywood shotcallers trying to whitewash his protagonists — which is why adaptations for Anansi Boys were sidelined. New York Times Bestselling Author Jessica Verday was part of an upcoming dark fairy romance anthology, Wicked Pretty Things, and wrote a boy/boy tale for it. The editor claimed the publisher Running Press wouldn’t approve of it and she’d need to make one of the characters a girl. Verday called BS on the claim and pulled the story in protest. As many of you may recall, I had the privilege of having a bigoted Lethe Press publisher invite me to submit to a Civil War anthology, only to be instructed that I am not allowed to include gay characters because the anthology needs to appeal to a mainstream cis heterosexual audience. Having a racist piece of garbage tell me to erase the gay from my narrative is no different from telling me to erase the colored. But you really have to appreciate the gall to ask a queer writer of color to houseslave for a Civil War anthology. DexterWhile Gaiman, Gerrold, Verday, LeGuin, and myself are all completely different writers, it’s clear that we have at least one belief in common: f88bbc22379f5c327a4a85891e21d35a So Hollywood, I see you continue to hemorrhage money left and right. With all of that erasure, bigotry, and soul-auctioning, I have to ask, how did it work out for you? Joker-billionaire-burning-money Oh. Okay then.

14 thoughts on “Hey Hollywood, How’s That Bigotry Paying Off For You?

  1. See what you do is right a whole bunch a Black Queer people during the Civil War and present that story to the editor!😄

    I’m not dancing about the loss of Constantine but I love that first gif.

    Not being gay, I was disappointed but not enraged about the erasure of John’s bisexuality. As a WoC, most of my energy goes towards pointing out the erasure of people like me, as does your energy go towards topics personal to you.

    But I did make note of it.

    I didn’t get too upset about it, though, because about halfway through the season, I bailed. I bailed because it’s network television and this is not a show for bland, watered down, mainstream viewing. This is “Constantine” and I just knew that everything I loved about the books was NEVER going to make it on NBC, during prime time, no matter how edgy they thought they were being.

    I have never expected network TV to be edgy or progressive. From time to time, they get a bit of fire in the britches and show something controversial but the purpose of such networks are almost diametrically opposed to the kinds of entertainment I find enjoyable, so I don’t ever expect much from any of them.

    I knew Constantine was doomed for that reason. It wasn’t ever going to edgy enough for fans of Hellblazer and it was too bland for people who weren’t. The show would have been better served by starring on HBO, or Showtime or something. Not any of the big three.

    1. ” As a WoC, most of my energy goes towards pointing out the erasure of people like me, as does your energy go towards topics personal to you.”

      Actually that’s not true. I go just as hard for other minorities as I do people like me. It’s not out of self-interest but doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, be they trans, disabled, WoC, LGBTQs, etc.

  2. Goddammit. I hadn’t even heard news of the bi-erasure (I got into the show really late off of someone else’s rec), so now I’m *pissed*.

    1. But that’s just it. The public is speaking with their wallets which is why most of these projects keep flopping. Hollywood just doesn’t want to change.

      1. I don’t know if you’re a fan of Empire (I don’t associate, myself), but I expect a lot more ripoffs of it next year, as every network tries to capture that lightning and replicate what that show has done.

        Good news: More PoC on TV
        Con: The quality of the shows will be on par with Empire, because they certainly won’t strive to be better.

  3. “that Constantine’s bisexuality isn’t all that important to the character.”

    I presume, then, that the show didn’t show (or plant) any relationships or sexual tensions for Constantine with women, either. Since his sexuality wasn’t important.
    I can’t judge, since I didn’t watch the show, but I’m guessing sexual tensions would have arisen at some point, given that there are extremely few shows where sexual relationships don’t come into play for the main character(s) at some point.

    tl:dr: what a crock.

  4. I find one of the truly absurd things from Hollywood is the assumption that white cis straight people aren’t interested in stories that focus on people who are not exactly like them. It’s outdated thinking, and this white cis straight woman wants far more diversity in the stories I read and watch. I think box office numbers show I am not the only one. I know what it’s like to be me. I want to be told a story from the POV of someone different than me.

  5. I didn’t know that about Constantine’s sexuality. But it’s good to know I didn’t waste my time with this interpretation. Why did they think they could dull down this character? There are so many supernatural themed TV shows why make this one as generic?

  6. Wait…we have the Cleaveland show right? Thats main…err never mind that’s a white man portraying…oh hell never mind again.

  7. Thanks for this. I was disappointed when the show was cancelled and I was not aware of the decision to censor Constantine’s sexuality. I was willing to watch until the show found its footing. Now I’m not upset about the cancellation.

Comments are closed.