I don’t know how many of you heard about this, but last weekend at San Diego Comic Con the majority of the Supergirl cast hurt a lot of LGBTQ+ fans. Before all of this happened I actually already wanted to write about why I had stopped watching Supergirl, but boy do I want to get my feelings off my chest now. I wanted to write down my thoughts earlier, but honestly I needed some time to let it all sink in.
This is going to be a pretty long post, and I’m sorry about that. I usually try to not make my posts this long, but I need to get this off my chest. If you only want to know about what happened last weekend, feel free to just skip to that point!
Let’s start with why I stopped watching Supergirl
I haven’t watched Supergirl in a while now. I wasn’t really enjoying it anymore, since I didn’t recognise the show I fell in love with. It was supposed to be a feminist show, but it felt like it had become the Mon-El show instead of Supergirl. While in season 1 we had plenty of feminist messages, about how girls weren’t allowed to be angry for exmample, where we had actual role models for young girls to look up to and we had a lot of moments between the Danvers sisters, which is all gone during season 2.
They barely gave Karolsen, an interracial relationship a chance before they already broke them up when they barely even dated. James Olsen, an interesting, main and black character, was reduced to the background. Do I love the fact that they made him a superhero? Sure, but there have been episodes where he was completely absent. Also he was pretty much replaced by a white guy (who’s also a slave owner and mysoginist!!). J’onn, another black man, was barely present as well, even though he too is supposed to be a main character and had plenty of screentime in season one.
The best thing that came out of season 2 (I swear that pun was unintended lmao) was Alex’ coming out story. It was handled beautifully and Sanvers is a loving, healthy, but also pretty much non-existent relationship. Sure, it’s canon, but they barely get any screentime. On top of that, while I like Maggie as a character, she was supposed to be latina while her actress is not? I’m still really confused about this though, as there were also people saying that this wasn’t confirmed and that she may be latina after all?
And then there was Mon-El, my biggest reason for giving up on this show. I’m not one to give up on shows that easily, especially when I love the characters which I really did. I hated that some of my favourites were barely getting any screentime, but I was hopeful that the showrunners would listen to the fans and give James and J’onn their screentime back, just like I was hoping they’d actually make the show about Kara again and that Sanvers would be treated like the straight ships.
But the moment Mon-El and Kara got together, I just couldn’t watch it anymore. I couldn’t see if they would listen to the (legit!) criticism, because Mon-El and his relationship with Kara is very triggering for me. I don’t want to hurt anyone who likes Mon-El and ships Karamel, but Mon-El reminds me of an abusive man in my life, who’s the biggest reason I have PTSD and anxiety. So yeah, I definitely couldn’t continue to watch Supergirl anymore, because Mon-El was already giving me anxiety and panic attacks before they got together, but in the episode Mr. & Mrs. Mxyzptlk, in which they got together, things got a lot worse.
Honestly, while at first it really upset me that I had to give up on watching one of my favourite shows, I’m now so so so glad. I’ve been keeping up with what’s happening with the show on Tumblr, and it’s only getting worse. I don’t recognise Kara anymore. They’re continuing to romanticise abuse (again, I’m sorry if you like Mon-El and Karamel, but as someone who has watched her mother in a romantic abusive relationship for years and has been mentally abused for years myself, I just can’t help but see similarities). They’re continuing to shit on their characters who belong to minorities. Season 1 of Supergirl wasn’t perfect, no show is, but ever since it moved to the CW it has become sexist, racist and while Alex’ coming out was beautiful, giving Sanvers barely any screentime and only subtly implying that they’re having sex when Karamel had sex after only been together for one episode (an episode in which they fought the majority of the time), sending away the new black female character and thus also destroying a beautiful relationship between two black characters… And oh boy can I go on.
I haven’t seen the trailer for the third season that was released at Comic Con and I don’t want to. But I’ve heard (from interviews and people who have watched the trailer) that apparently Kara is done being Kara (‘being Kara Danvers was a mistake’) because (SPOILER FOR SEASON 2 FINALE) she lost Mon-El (he’s not dead, he just can’t return to Earth but it’s been heavily implied that he’ll return next season anyway) and in Melissa Benoist’s own words it feels like her world has been destroyed. Which actually happened to Kara at 13 when her planet was destroyed but yeah losing your boyfriend of a few months is just like that. Such feminism! Much progressive! Oh and they’re writing Maggie off and have no intention of bringing on another ‘gay ship’ and they’ll probably keep on pushing Mon-El in favour of their POCs
What happened at Comic Con
So I wanted to (sort of briefly because I have a lot more feelings and I pretty muched tried to ban this show from my mind so I think I forgot lots of stuff as well but that may be for the best because what I remember tires me out already and this post is already getting super long) talk about why I had already stopped watching Supergirl first, because I don’t want people to think that I only stopped supporting this show because of what happened at Comic Con. I am disgusted at people who were completely fine with the way POCs were being treated during season 2 and are only now yelling that the show is cancelled. I had already given up on the show, but I hadn’t given up on the cast.
I mean, the reason I had given up on the show before was because of the writing, something the cast isn’t responsible for. The way they acted at Comic Con though? I want to make clear that I’m not talking about the entire cast here. Melissa Benoist, Chris Wood, Mehcad Brooks, Jeremy Jordan, Katie McGrath, David Harewood and Odette Annable (she’s a new cast member) were present at Comic Con, and the latter three are not the ones I’m upset with and disappointed in.
So if you don’t know, during an MTV interview the cast was asked to do a musical recap of the past season. Jeremy Jordan, who plays Winn, took the lead. He sings that Kara makes a new friend, Lena, and then starts yelling that ‘they’re only friends’ and that’s all they’ll ever be. Melissa Benoist joins in and honestly her ‘they’re/we’re (can’t make out which one she says) only friends!!!’ sounded like she was offended that people would think her character was anything but straight. The way these two were yelling was disgusting and hurtful. Look, all of us Supercorp shippers know that it’s very unlikely that Kara and Lena would actually get together. We’ve been around for a while. You don’t have to yell at us that hysterically and laugh. It felt like they were mocking Supercorp shippers, who mostly consist of young LGBTQ+ women, who find happiness and hope in Supercorp.
I never cared much for Jeremy Jordan. But Melissa? She was someone I looked up too and did not expect this stab in the back from. Mehcad Brooks (James) is also someone I really liked and looked up to. But he got up and danced to the song and laughed along. Just like Chris Wood. Katie, David and Odette laughed as well, but looked very uncomfortable. Also, later on Katie stands up for the fans and says that anyone can interpret the relationship between Kara and Lena the way they want (it goes deeper than that but I don’t remember her exact words and don’t want to watch the video again – please don’t hate on Katie though). During which Chris Wood interrupts her and says something about how sexuality is actually how others perceive you. Look, he said he was being sarcastic, but it was still a really weird and shity thing to say? And why did he have to interrupt Katie like that? What did you add to her well-meaning, thoughtful words?
Chris also sang a song about what a cool place Daxam is and that if you want some fun you should come and hang out. Sure Chris, if I want go somewhere with slavery and sexism, I’ll go there! Gosh such a cool place.
Look, maybe you don’t find this hurtful. But a lot of LGBTQ+ fans, including me, felt really really hurt. And I don’t think that should be ignored. I’m not the only one who felt like the majority of the cast mocked us and stabbed us in the back. It’s especially troublesome since a lot of young sapphic girls watch Supergirl and look up to this cast. Yet here they are, making fun of them. It’s one thing to politely explain that Supercorp will never happen, but to sing it and yell hysterically?
To make things worse, Melissa Benoist has been quiet about it. Even though lots of fans have reached out. One fan wrote a polite, professional email to Melissa’s publicist, explaining that many (young) LGBTQ+ fans have been hurt and that this isn’t just about a ship (just to be clear, for me it’s not about the ship either). She got the most ridiculous email back, saying that this was defamation, that Melissa couldn’t be homophobic because she was on Glee and my favourite (yes the Glee argument is not my favourite): ‘There are gross injustices globally of the LGBT community. This was not one of those occasions.’ So a girl who’s PART of the community tells you that Melissa and other cast members hurt said community, and you decide that this isn’t a ‘gross injustice’? I won’t be linking to any of this, because the girl may get sued and I don’t want to bring too much attention to her and her blog.
Jeremy Jordan knew he had done something mean right away as he said ‘I think I’m going to get destroyed for what I just did. I just debunked Supercorp’ (to which Melissa replied that it was brave???? No it isn’t?? It’s a shitty thing to do?) so I’m honestly not buying his ‘I’m a good ally I have gay friends and I too am a victim here’ bullshit apology. He has apologised twice (because the first one really wasn’t well received) and I’ve seen him interact with some fans on his Twitter, but I have trouble taking his apology seriously. His comment after the song implied that he knew exactly what he was doing, and the way he was acting was just… I have no words. He also basically said in his first apology that we’re wrong and that what he did wasn’t homophobic. Listen dude, you as a straight guy don’t get to tell LGBTQ+ fans what is and isn’t homophobic. And just because there are also LGBTQ+ fans who are telling you that they didn’t think it wasn’t offensive and that they aren’t hurt by it, doesn’t make it okay. Because a lot of us were (and still are) hurt.
Go to the comment section on this post for Mehcad’s reply:
UPDATE: David Harewood spoke out and tweeted the following: