EDITORIAL - GREEN LANTERN: Some Thoughts on Alan Scott Coming Out of the Closet
A media company attempting to look progressive is nothing new - nor is the notion that "progress" oftentimes can turn around and bite them in the arse. Green Lantern's Alan Scott being gay could be DC Entertainment's version of New Coke.
Many years ago (1970-1975) ABC aired a sitcom called The Odd Couple, about two divorced men who share an apartment and drive each other crazy in the same way that they drove their ex-wives crazy.
It's a classic comedy based on the play by Neil Simon, and while there was nothing gay about it, the network was constantly freaking out that the audience would PERCEIVE Oscar Madison and Felix Unger as being gay. Years later that show's executive producer, Garry Marshall, would wryly comment, "Back then you couldn't have a gay character on a TV show. Now you can't have a hit without one."
Today, headlines everywhere are spreading the news that Green Lantern is gay, the context for those in the know being that the Green Lantern in question is Earth 2's Alan Scott. But for the general reader, the one who has some vague memories of Green Lantern and his power ring but is completely unaware that there are so many variations of GL out there, there's not going to be any sort of delineation. What is likely going to come out of this from being spoon-fed by the media is the general PERCEPTION that Green Lantern is gay. End of story.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to introduce a gay superhero into the mix. Indeed, DC can and should be applauded for doing so as a reflection of the times we live in. But choosing to go about it in this way feels gratuitous, not progressive. It's almost as though they're saying to convervatives who are likely to freak out over the move, "Hey, don't worry. OUR Green lantern is straight. It's the guy from EARTH 2 who's gay."
But here's a potential bottom line corporately speaking: if this news about a gay Green Lantern really gains traction, it wouldn't be surprising if the lantern symbol itself is taken as a reinforcement of the gay community - which would be completely understandable. But there are so many conservative people out there to whom being gay is simply wrong. If they'd be willing to kick out their own son or daughter for being gay, you know damn well they're not going to allow any of that "Green Lantern trash" - whether it be in the form of comics or even the animated series - into their homes.
It will be interesting to see whether or not, in the end, DC will be applauded for this move, or will have shot themselves in the foot if Alan Scott's coming out of the closet has brought the whole GL Corps out there with him.
This represents the type of image that is already spreading on the Internet.
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