DC’s Rejection of R-Rated Batman / Catwoman Scene is Pure Hypocrisy


The hypocrisy of the people running Warner Brothers and DC alike reaches new heights. In this Variety interview, they talk about how a sex scene between Batman and Catwoman in a Harley Quinn cartoon aimed at adults was edited out because of ambiguous, hypocritical commercialism concerns:


Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker, two of the co-creators and executive producers of the DC Entertainment-HBO Max adult animated series “Harley Quinn,” say that they also approached the show from a different perspective. Having a strong background in writing sitcoms, the duo compares the series to “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” — “if Mary killed a bunch of people,” in Schumacker ’s words, as Harley (voiced by Kaley Cuoco) and her compatriots often engage in acts of incredible brutality that feed into the show’s outrageous humor.

“Harley Quinn” is also unique among the current crop of comic content in that its main character and all of her closest allies are villains rather than heroes in the DC canon. That allows the show to do different things with the characters that heroes simply cannot do — at least according to DC.

“It’s incredibly gratifying and free to be using characters that are considered villains because you just have so much more leeway,” says Halpern. “A perfect example of that is in this third season of ‘Harley’ [when] we had a moment where Batman was going down on Catwoman. And DC was like, ‘You can’t do that. You absolutely cannot do that.’ They’re like, ‘Heroes don’t do that.’ So, we said, ‘Are you saying heroes are just selfish lovers?’ They were like, ‘No, it’s that we sell consumer toys for heroes. It’s hard to sell a toy if Batman is also going down on someone.’


This is the same publisher that was going out of its way to manufacture toy action figures based on Dr. Light’s out-of-character presentation in Identity Crisis as a rapist, yet when heroes and anti-heroes like Bat and Cat are a focus for consensual lovemaking, suddenly, they get cold feet? IMHO, I don’t believe a word of what these executives said that they’re scared for their merchandise prospects when they already corrupted them years ago.


However, this does give an idea just how hypocritical they’ve become as time went by, with one of the earliest examples being a time when Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick’s origin where he smoked cigarettes was largely done away with by the 90s, because political correctness (PC) dictates a character’s background has to be that “moral”. Such PC later ensured that Ben Grimm and Nick Fury could no longer smoke cigarettes at the time Joe Quesada became Marvel’s EIC (yet Brian Bendis was allowed to depict Spider-Woman smoking, for some reason), and he was one of the first PC advocates during the turn of the century who ensured we’d end up with the dire situation comicdom got damaged by today.


Remember when Wolverine smoked cigars…?


Some could argue his influence led to Dan Slott using the smoking issue as an excuse to justify maltreatment of Mary Jane Watson, her being a fictional character notwithstanding. Now, we see an absurd defense being employed by marketing executives that heroes can’t be seen having sex no matter how mature the cartoon’s approach, but villains inexplicably are allowed…as though it’s consensual lovemaking and sex are actually a bad thing. That’s certainly what this hypocritical defense DC’s marketing division risks making it sound like. And you wonder why marriage is now on the brink of villification?


A writer at Yahoo’s entertainment division describes things the following way:


In the eyes of DC Comics, Batman’s a fighter … not a lover. In a recent interview with Variety, the co-creators and executive producers of the fan favorite Harley Quinn cartoon series let slip a scene that the Dark Knight’s publishers had axed from the upcoming third season of the R-rated HBO Max show. […]


Again, that’s got to be one of the biggest problems with the surrender to PC commercialism. Sex is bad, but violence is acceptable in almost every way. And that cowardice has ruined countless creations that were sold into the slavery of corporatism.


It’s worth noting that Harley Quinn has never been shy about exposing its main characters to suggestive situations. The first two seasons are filled with ultraviolence, not to mention ultra-risqué sexual material. But as Halpern notes, it helps that the main characters are all villains. […]


This is also annoying because it’s an excuse for cheap sensationalism. Especially if and when the story is told from the villain’s viewpoint. Surely worst is that it risks making heterosexual relations look bad. Yet chances are, if there’d been a homosexual lovemaking scene in the scripts, it wouldn’t see any opposition, even if involved the heroes.


Even if there are some lines they can’t cross with the Bat, Halpern and Schumacker have frequently expressed delight about how far they’ve been able to push the envelope on Harley Quinn in general. “It seemed maybe a little bit off-brand, this idea that we’re making fun of some of this world,” Schumacker told Deadline last September. “I think since the show has come out, fans have appreciated that yeah, we’re making a lot of jokes at the expense of these characters, but it is done with love, and with a pretty deep knowledge of their legacies. And while these are sort of bastardized versions of all the characters, for the most part, they still have their core moral compass.”


Forget it, I’m not falling for this tommyrot. Besides, what legacies are we talking about anyway? Harley Quinn dates back almost 30 years, and in recent ones has undergone a once unbelievable push for emphasis, making her easily 2nd to Batman as one of the most oversaturated products of modern times on the market. No matter how much of a Bat-fan I am, the emphasis the franchise underwent of recent is all that’s wrong with today’s marketing. A smart person who understands what went wrong can vote with his/her wallet and avoid whatever’s being sold in merchandise, along with the TV show itself. On which note, the PC commercialism of merchandise is exactly what’s ruining comicdom now, leading to situations where sex can’t be used to market a concept, unless it’s based on LGBT ideology and other leftist politics. In Japan, they don’t take that kind of approach to marketing, whether it’s adult or not.


Batawang was fine, but Catwoman being pleasured is not?


Maybe the biggest irony is that 30 years ago, IIRC, filmmakers like Tim Burton didn’t have a problem depicting Bruce Wayne making serious love to a ladyfriend, and the Flash TV show, pretentious as it was (regrettably influenced to some extent by the Batman films), did feature a sex scene. Today, that’s a lot less likely, because PC approaches to marketing have put these products much more between a rock and a hard place, supposedly because they don’t want children to see this, even as ultra-violence is allowed and unquestioned by the marketing hypocrites, not to mention certain irresponsible parents.



Originally published here.

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Avi Green

Avi Green was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. He enjoyed reading comics when he was young, the first being Fantastic Four. He maintains a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy of facts. He considers himself a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. Follow him on his blog at Four Color Media Monitor or on Twitter at @avigreen1