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Why the World Doesn’t Need a Gay Superhero

Tolerating the proclivities of others does not change your own.

by
Walter Hudson

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November 21, 2013 - 9:53 am
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If you love movies, you owe it to yourself to subscribe to the AMC Theaters channel on YouTube. You will enjoy the thoughtful commentary offered by the crew at AMC Movie Talk.

Responding to a viewer question asking whether Hollywood will ever make an action hero or superhero film with a gay leading character, AMC’s John Campea offers several well-considered insights, none more so than this one:

The other thing I think is a little bit less nefarious than homophobia. And that’s simply the idea of cognitive identification. A lot of times, when we’re watching superhero films like – ridiculous guys like me. I watch Captain America and there’s a part of me that feels like I can be that guy. When I’m watching Iron Man, there’s a ridiculously disconnected [from reality] part of my brain that thinks, “I can be Tony Stark.” There’s an association with it… There’s very few things that are more strongly embedded within us, with our identity, than our sexuality.

The moment Captain America starts making out with another man, the ability of a heterosexual male to relate drops off substantially. Campea goes on to apply that observation beyond the context of sexual orientation to race, dialect, and other cultural differences.

Let’s say we see a guy, a character onscreen who is a small – speaks broken English – Asian gentleman. We have a hard time identifying with that. That’s not us. We can’t identify with him. And so we don’t really get attracted to those types of characters, those types of movies, and those types of projects.

It comes down to business and math. There just aren’t enough gay men in the world to justify catering a big budget action film to their particular tastes.

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Top Rated Comments   
I can love and treat my wife's gay friends (and family members) with respect - but I don't have to condone it. I think that's where most people are at on the issue. it's the proselytizing of the lifestyle that I object to.
From what I can see it's not an easy lifestyle to live...so why are we romanticizing it?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (16)
All Comments   (16)
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Why would one condone behavior which results in the eternal damnation of the behaver? If we care at all about homosexuals we will do our best to persuade them to abandon their sinful conduct and live a christian life. The alternative is unending punishment- which we should not want for them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
No offence to any straight men out there, but as a straight woman myself, I am already TIRED of watching all those rubbish superman, spiderman, ironman or whatever man you want to describe. There is no creativity at all. The same storyline is repeatedly used--hero defeats villian/society, hero then saves the heroine, hero kisses heroine in the end. Could you really do something else?

And to the author who wrote, "It comes down to business and math. There just aren’t enough gay men in the world to justify catering a big budget action film to their particular tastes."

I have started noticing that hollywood is trying to go into China cinema market. What is your reason for this?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It doesn't really matter if the world needs a gay superhero or not. They will be determined to introduce one anyway whether popular or not. It's just a matter of time.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
First -- tell me a story!!

Gay or straight is irrelevant unless its related to the story, a driver to motivations. I could imagine a gay super-hero in a movie in the future, but it won't work if the homosexual aspect is forced in as a PC point vice informing or moving along the story. If its apparent that the character is gay, its portrayed very obviously, but it isn't relevant to the story line- it ain't gonna sell. Most of the Superhero films even the heterosexuality isn't the driver to the story. It's a side-line, a sub-plot, their are love interests but the movies really aren't about the hero's love relationships. Only how their commitment/responsibility relates to those other things- what comes first duty to the general public, or to their immediate loved ones etc. etc.

So, I wouldn't reject going to a super-hero movie with a gay main character, it would depend on the story. Is it an interesting story about a hero? Or is it an advertisement or public service announcement for homosexuality?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As a rule gay men have a lot of disposable income, one of the benefits of not having families to support. They are avid consumers in certain areas of the economy, such as accessories related to an up-scale lifestyle and entertainment. A gay superhero film would probably make enough money to be a viable investment.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I can love and treat my wife's gay friends (and family members) with respect - but I don't have to condone it. I think that's where most people are at on the issue. it's the proselytizing of the lifestyle that I object to.
From what I can see it's not an easy lifestyle to live...so why are we romanticizing it?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
From what little I know of slash fanfic writers and readers, and the impressions from my women friends in general, a gay superhero film made on a modest budget might have some chance of being successful if it was aimed more towards women. There seems to be a segment of heterosexual women who find gay love stories quite attractive, so if the superhero was given a good-looking boyfriend and the love story got a lot of attention, well, it might become a modest success if it hadn't paid too much to make.

I guess the point could be the same as to why some men seem to like to fantasize about hot lesbians, getting two attractive members of the opposite sex at the same time without the distraction of a member of your own sex you might not be able to identify with in the same picture. And when it's just a fantasy and the main point is watching the fact that neither of those attractive individuals would be interested in you won't matter all that much.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The modern Batwoman is written as being of Jewish descent and as a lesbian in an effort by DC editorial staff to diversify its publications and better connect to modern-day readership. Described as the highest-profile gay superhero to appear in stories published by DC, Batwoman's sexual orientation drew wide media attention following her reintroduction, as well as criticism and praise from the general public."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batwoman
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The modern Batwoman is written as being of Jewish descent and as a lesbian..." Call me a homophobic anti-Semite, but that sounds like the kind of woman I'd avoid at a university faculty's after-hours social gathering.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As the pr0n industry has shown over the years, men don't have a problem with seeing women-on-women sex, as long as you're not talking about women with the build of, say, Rosie O'Donnell. It may be a bit of a double-standard, but since men/teen boys are the biggest buyers of comic books, DC risks less with a hot lesbian superhero (with a hot girlfriend) than they do with a male gay superhero.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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