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JohnMcMahon

Has NBC ruined 'Constantine' by straightwashing its protagonist?

  

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Internet petitions are dumb but a lot of responses to this particular one lend voice to a clearly frustrated community, my heart goes out to them and they've helped me further understand why this is such an important fight for them. NBC have handled this poorly, a more considered response is probably in order and they should definitely look at slipping that line from #51 into the show somewhere.

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I just wish they weren't being misled! It's not fair to prop up the comic series as some kind of LGBT haven. If people who are invested in the subject buy trades as a result of this buzz, there's an 80% chance that what they read will have contents either not much better than the whitebread mainstream, or a lot worse. I mean, there's flat-out bigotry in at least a third of the 300 issues, and that's not even taking into account the regular YAY HETEROSEXUALITY material.

 

But yeah, if it earns the line a place in the show, I'm game. And I still have the comic pegged overall as a generally socially aware and progressive series (even if it's only true for about half its writers), so it's appropriate for an adaptation to try and 'do better' than its immediate competition. The books are at their best when they're at their most counter-cultural (which is why I'm so excited to finally read Jenkins), and this is far more relevant counter-culture for the modern day than hippies or punks or whatever-have-you.

 

I just don't like lies. Rabble-rousing politicking is an awful thing to do to people. It might be for a greater good, but it's still dishonest.

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Internet petitions are dumb but a lot of responses to this particular one lend voice to a clearly frustrated community, my heart goes out to them and they've helped me further understand why this is such an important fight for them. NBC have handled this poorly, a more considered response is probably in order and they should definitely look at slipping that line from #51 into the show somewhere.

 

I just wish they weren't being misled! It's not fair to prop up the comic series as some kind of LGBT haven. If people who are invested in the subject buy trades as a result of this buzz, there's an 80% chance that what they read will have contents either not much better than the whitebread mainstream, or a lot worse. I mean, there's flat-out bigotry in at least a third of the 300 issues, and that's not even taking into account the regular YAY HETEROSEXUALITY material.

 

But yeah, if it earns the line a place in the show, I'm game. And I still have the comic pegged overall as a generally socially aware and progressive series (even if it's only true for about half its writers), so it's appropriate for an adaptation to try and 'do better' than its immediate competition. The books are at their best when they're at their most counter-cultural (which is why I'm so excited to finally read Jenkins), and this is far more relevant counter-culture for the modern day than hippies or punks or whatever-have-you.

 

I just don't like lies. Rabble-rousing politicking is an awful thing to do to people. It might be for a greater good, but it's still dishonest.

 

Honestly, they're doing themselves a disservice in the matter considering the most likely that the only saw the two said panels on various websites and take it at face value instead of reading the comic. It's not like John's Jack Harkness in the very beginning.

 

Hugh Hefner had one encounter back in the day with a male yet still identifies as straight and no ones kicked up a fuss for the old codger to bring it up all the damn time like it matters

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The thing is: If John's sexuality ever becomes an issue in the series, then it would indeed be appropriate for him to mention in passing that he's also kinda into guys, and just silly to conciously change that part of his character, even if it's a minor thing. But I'm not sure his sexuality will even be part of the story, and then whether or not he's hetero, bi or gay (or other variants) wont really come into play. And I agree with the people saying that the only public statements on the issue have been pretty weak.

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I mean, there's flat-out bigotry in at least a third of the 300 issues

 

That seems like a bit of an overestimation.

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And probably only half of them were overtly bigoted.

 

I am irritated by the overstating of the bisexual aspect of the character in the petitions and articles and so on (especially those that outright lie about the frequency of this aspect appearing in the comic) but the more I think about it, the more I sympathise with their objection, and feel that, yeah, it is something that should be included in the show somewhere, even if it's only as tangential as it is in the comics. And, in fact, that the show might benefit from making it a bigger bit of the lore and working an ex-boyfriend in there, maybe. Fuck it, why not? It's the 21st century.

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I can't be the only one tempted to throw a petition together demanding that John's beastiality phase also be recognised in the show.

 

Holy shit, dude, I was just thinking that! If I'm lyin', I'm dyin'.

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I mean, there's flat-out bigotry in at least a third of the 300 issues

That seems like a bit of an overestimation.

 

Yeah, it was.

 

Yeah, Ennis only wrote 40 odd issues.

 

Milligan! Azzarello! I guess it depends whether you count misanthropy as bigotry, though.

 

But I agree that 'at least a third' was the biggest exaggeration in the world ever

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Yeah. I wouldn't say there was a lot of bigotry in Hellblazer.

I'd go with roughly, maybe, 22 issues total.

Azzarello seems to have a problem with red-necks and bi-sexual people in S&M clubs...but he also has a problem with neo-Nazis, so that balances out.

Milligan steered right over the edge of sexism a few times (other times, he just managed to avoid going over that cliff), but he also had a lot of social conscious stories (most of which were pretty damn unsubtle).

Ennis I don't remember much bigotry in his run. He wrote John as a manly man type, but that's not bigotry, and especially because John's relationship with Kit was one of equality. Plus, Ennis said America was a bad place and he doesn't like racists, so that's all good. I'm sure there were some stories sympathetic to proletarian issues in Ennis' run too.

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I haven't bothered reading most of the pages, but I will ask this;

 

Was there even an OFFICIAL confirmation that John was straight-washed?

 

No. I do know there's the downlow but of course the out and proud despise that

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I haven't bothered reading most of the pages, but I will ask this;

 

Was there even an OFFICIAL confirmation that John was straight-washed?

  1. here's the nutshell: issue 51 had a line in it about girlfriends and the odd boyfriend in his bed. it was written by John Smith who only wrote that one issue, which is a point when arguing canon.
     
  2. Azzarello made John and Stanley Manor deviant lovers as part of John's revenge plot to get back at Manor.

those are the 2 bisexual references.

  1. Then the shows producers say since it wasn't a big part of his character (which is true) they wouldn't be using his bisexuality in any sort of thematic way. This is where "straightwashing" was to have occurred.

that's the gist unless there's something i missed.

 

so, it depends really on how you view the evidence. No one denies he was bisexual, just whether it defined his character. and some argue whether or not a one issue writer can be included in canon established by writers who wrote the book for a long time - Delano, Ennis, Jenkins, Azzarello, Carey all wrote many issues, so it stands to reason they determine canon, not John Smith's one issue. one can argue against it being canon and still agree that he's bi, but some folks don't see it that way.

 

also, this is just my opinion, I don't speak for anyone else. they do a fine enough job at that.

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Official confirmation that the TV programme will not be showing or referring to any homosexual aka bisexual nature has appeared in at least one interview.

Cerrone or Goyer did not say Constantine is straight just that it would not be in the story.

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I asked that because a lot of the hassle came from an interview that was only titled "John Constantine is no longer Bisexual" while the actual interview itself said no such thing. It actually said they won't focus to much on it until maybe 20 years down the line, which will probably mean the arc with him using his bisexuality to get revenge. They never really officially said he wasn't bisexual.

 

Then in an interview with David Goyer about that same question, he said that they would probably make a story out of it down the road.

 

So in actuallity there was never any official word on whether or not John really is straight, and everyone's just extremely lost in translation.

 

Plus, why would they even want John as an example for bisexuality? He doesn't even consider himself bisexual nor does he really care for the LGBT community. Hell, he fucked a lesbeian who wanted to be a "normal" woman just for kicks.

 

But I think NBC mentioning this was probably for more publicity through the outcry of people. I've seen this before for the game series "Devil May Cry" where they rebooted the series and tried to get more hype for it from the outcry of fans of the original version.

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