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Not a Misprint

DC Comics Apologizes For Content In Their Harley Quinn Art Contest


After a week or more of controversy, DC Comics have finally released a statement regarding the Harley Quinn comic art contest they were holding. 

We posted mentions of this incident on the site a few times but it’s escalated to the point where DC has made an official statement, which doesn’t always happen. Fans were admittedly excited when DC announced a new ongoing Harley Quinn series being written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner. The husband/wife team certainly have a unique voice in comics and had a successful run on the fantastic Power Girl series a few years ago.

But things took a turn when DC announced a special art contest which included drawing a page of the upcoming title. It was billed as “DC Entertainment’s Open Talent Search” and was meant to be published in Harley Quinn #0. A portion of the script was released with panel descriptions but no dialogue. The last panel description read:

Harley sitting naked in a bathtub with toasters, blow dryers, blenders, appliances all dangling above the bathtub and she has a cord that will release them all. We are watching the moment before the inevitable death. Her expression is one of “oh well, guess that’s it for me” and she has resigned herself to the moment that is going to happen.

While this panel followed several others showing Harley putting herself in ridiculous and dangerous situations, some found this one too literal and exploitive. Earlier in the week, Palmiotti attempted to explain the overall context of the scenes and issue:

That the tryout Harley Quinn page went out without an overall description of tone and dialogue is all my fault. I should have put it clearly in the description that it was supposed to be a dream sequence with Amanda and I talking to Harley and giving her a hard time. I should have also mentioned we were thinking a Mad magazine /Looney Tunes approach was what we were looking for. We thought it was obvious with the whale and chicken suit, and so on, but learned it was not. I am sorry for those who took offense, our intentions were always to make this a fun and silly book that broke the 4th wall, and head into issue 1 with a ongoing story/adventure that is a lot like the past Powergirl series we did. I hope all the people thinking the worst of us can now understand that insulting or making fun of any kind was never our intention. I also hope that they can all stop blaming DC Comics for this since It was my screw up. The idea for the page to find new talent is an amazing one and we hope that can be the positive that comes forward from today on…that we get some new talent working in our field because of this unique opportunity.

However, many were still upset, especially considering the contest just happened to be announced right before National Suicide Prevention Week. That prompted organizations to get involved. The Huffington Post wrote:

“We are disappointed that DC Comics has decided to host a contest looking for artists to develop ways to depict suicide attempts by one of its main villains – Harley Quinn,” the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, American Psychiatric Association and National Alliance on Mental Illness said in an emailed group statement to The Huffington Post Thursday.

Over the past 10 years, suicide has claimed the lives of more than 300,000 U.S. citizens and is the third leading cause of death among youth and young adults, the group noted. More than 90 percent of those who die by suicide have treatable mental illnesses.

“We believe that instead of making light of suicide, DC Comics could have used this opportunity to host a contest looking for artists to depict a hopeful message that there is help for those in crisis. This would have been a positive message to send, especially to young readers,” the statement continued. “On behalf of the tens of millions of people who have lost a loved one to suicide, this contest is extremely insensitive, and potentially dangerous. We know from research that graphic and sensational depictions of suicide can contribute to contagion.”

As I mentioned earlier, DC doesn’t always reply to controversies but in this case they have. A statement from them, as received by Huffington Post says:

“The purpose of the talent search was to allow new artists an opportunity to draw a single page of a 20-page story. True to the nature of the character, the entire story is cartoony and over-the-top in tone, as Harley Quinn breaks the 4th Wall and satirizes the very scenes she appears in,” the statement read. “DC Entertainment sincerely apologizes to anyone who may have found the page synopsis offensive and for not clearly providing the entire context of the scene within the full scope of the story.”

What this issue boils down to for me is not the actual script or intended depiction but the continuing lack of awareness by not just DC, but entertainment sources in general, when it comes to spotting potential issues before putting something out to the masses. While those at the company clearly understood what the creators were going for, no one suggested it might be seen any other way, and that’s a problem.

I don’t expect everyone to be looking over every single item with a critical eye but wouldn’t it be easier to try and catch these things before they become an issue and save everyone a lot of trouble? Any other number of pages from the story could have been presented for the contest instead. In fact, I witnessed industry members suggesting this page isn’t even the best way to showcase an artist’s talents. Of course, what’s done is done, and we’ve seen that even when things are considered beforehand, they can still pass through.

If you need more information, or need to talk to someone, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

(via Robot 6)

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  • Anonymous

    The same thing happened when they killed off Ryan Choi (to give angst to his white mentor in what can only be described as the racial equivalent of a Fridging) during Asian American Heritage Month. They literally slaughtered one of their few pseudo-recognizable Asian characters (hey he was on the Batman cartoon) during a month dedicated to recognizing Asian Americans.

    And this is part of a larger problem, as the article noted. Remember when it leaked that they were going to kill John Stewart and everyone got up in arms? Did DC not predict that news causing a stir? It’s like the current editorial team makes these decisions without a single regard for how it’s going to be received.
    I know they say any publicity is good publicity but does that really count if you’ve had nothing but bad publicity for quite a while?

  • http://www.facebook.com/myron.byron Myron Byron

    “DC Entertainment sincerely apologizes to anyone who may have found the page synopsis offensive and for not clearly providing the entire context of the scene within the full scope of the story.”

    There needs to be some serious, serious consciousness-raising about not-good-enough, qualified apologies.

  • Bryant Francis

    It’s almost like there’s a mindset that if you make a full apology you’re—doing something wrong? I was involved in cleaning up a tiny PR kerfuffle last year that dictated a full on apology, and I had multiple people tell me to use “we’re sorry ‘if you’re offended.’”

    It honestly doesn’t cost you anything to just say “sorry.” It does mean you admit you committed an error, (Which maybe that’s a legal thing they’re trying to dodge), but it tends to buy you a lot more goodwill with your audience in the long run.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    The problem with doing that however, is that if the company says ‘yes, we did wrong’, this makes them liable. That’s why they use weasel speak, it allows them to avoid actually admitting fault, and thus they can avoid potential lawsuits. Which sucks, really.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    That’s exactly what it is: if you make an actual apology, you’re admitting fault, and if you’re admitting fault, you’re responsible, and if you admit you’re responsible … you’re open to lawsuit. That’s why in some cases where someone wants to take a company to court, the company will either settle out of court, or they’ll offer compensation, with the understanding that they will not admit to any wrongdoing.

  • Bryant Francis

    I mean, I get why they gotta cover their asses for industrial accidents and stuff, but come on, a comic contest? Their team of highly paid lawyers seriously can’t fend off whatever lawsuit comes if they go “hey guys, sorry, we done fucked up?”

  • Paulo

    Typical “sorry not-sorry.” Whenever you say “We’re sorry you were offended,” what they are really saying is “We’re not sorry we did it, we just didn’t know you would be offended by it, which is your fault for being offended.”

  • Lindsey Stock

    The cynic in me has to wonder if DC really is this ignorant about how their decisions might be received or if they just don’t care because they know people will keep buying their stuff anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Or when Joe Quesada touted Freedom Ring as an example of a gay superhero, only for him to be brutally killed, dying in anonymity despite saving the entire Avengers team one month later.

  • Anonymous

    Oh god don’t even remind me. And given that stories are written months in advance someone at that company knew damn well the poor boy was gonna die soon, so why they let Quesada tout him as “Marvel doing diversity right!” is beyond me.

  • Seth Brodbeck

    Anyone else feel that the “It was supposed to be 4th wall breaking and satirical!” response doesn’t actually address the complaints people have? I mean, even if you put post-modern scare quotes around the whole scene, you’re still objectifying a character at the moment of her suicide.

  • Anonymous

    Or is it intentional? Is this the “even bad attention is good attention” school of PR? At the DC panel at Baltimore Comic-Con, DiDio and Co. made more than one excited comment along the lines of: “We know XYZ storyline is really going to upset…er, excite our fans!” As though the one were just as desirable as the other.

  • http://user.drunkduck.com/dumok dumok

    It’s much easier to ask for forgiveness, than to ask for permission.

  • Anonymous

    Did Ryan Choi’s murder actually affect Ray Palmer? I only remember Giganta caring enough to avenger him.

  • Anonymous

    That’s true if you want to get stuff done, but not if you want to keep your friends.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll give them credit for actually publically acknowledging that they didn’t think this through as opposed to all the other times they’ve done offensively stupid things with no regard for the consequences. It’s still not as good as not doing offensively stupid things in the first place, but it’s at least a step in the right direction.

  • Anonymous

    I absolutely love corporate non-apologies. “Sorry you were offended you oversensitive pricks, keep buying our books!” What a load of bollocks.

  • Amanda Evans

    I’ll accept Palmiotti’s explanation because it was specifically the lack of context that made it so tasteless and objectifying for me, and I will probably still buy the book. However, I’m still very wary because I honestly can’t think of any way to satirize mental illness and suicide in a genuinely funny, non-exploitative way, because any way you come at it, you’re still making fun of victims and people struggling with suicidal thoughts (the one exception being George Carlin’s bit on suicide, which is the only time I’ve ever seen it done effectively.) I know this makes me sound like another humorless concern troll, but I am genuinely asking for examples if anyone has any.

  • Ryan Colson

    Harley’s trying to be DC’s Deadpool? I thought Animal Man already had this job. DAMN YOU DC.

  • Seth Brodbeck

    It isn’t the gallows humor that bothers me. I like gallows humor. It’s the combination of gallows humor with sexual titillation, underscored by DC’s general bad habits with regards to the treatment of its female characters that leaves a bad taste (for me at least, obviously taste varies). Daffy Duck is practically sexless, Harley Quinn nude in a bathtub is not.

  • John Burkhart

    You used the name Quesada. He of “One More Day.” I think you answered your own question.

  • http://the-nerdmuffin.tumblr.com/ Sara Goodwin

    Personally, I don’t have a huge problem with the “sorry you’re offended” type of apology. I’ve hurt people by accident before, by saying something they didn’t like, or by finding humor in something they did not, or by doing something they think I should not have done. I think it is perfectly possible to apologize for the pain you’ve caused someone but also stand by your decision to hold a different opinion. If we all second-guessed ourselves and never took risks of alienating someone for some reason, art and expression would be pretty limited. It’s possible to sincerely wish that someone had not experienced offense while simultaneously not regretting one’s action.

  • Anonymous

    Ambush Bug is best at Fourth Wall breaking.

  • Anonymous

    “We’ll just keep people talking! About how much they hate us! It’s foolproof.”

  • Anonymous

    “I don’t expect everyone to be looking over every single item with a critical eye…” If you’re not thinking critically, you’re not thinking at all. DC has shown this time and time again.

  • Anonymous

    I wish I could ban the phrase “we apologize to anyone who may have found [insert horrible offensive thing here] offensive.” How about companies, gee… I don’t know, ACTUALLY APOLOGIZE FOR BEING OFFENSIVE AS FUCK!? It’s not hard! Just say, “WE’RE SORRY FOR BEING OFFENSIVE AS FUCK!” Stop assuming that these assholes who condone rape and violence are the majority and legitimately apologize for being insensitive, incompetent and sexist among many, many, many other things. Images of suicide is one of my triggers and although I am a huge DC fan, this incident and their non-apology is really, really turning me off as their fan!

  • Anonymous

    This is what happens when you have a completely homogeneous staff who can’t fathom whyyy Asians, Blacks, lesbians or women would be upset with the way they are presented and later slandered in comics.

  • Anonymous

    This sentiment always reminds me of rape. Random comment.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Eh, someone could maybe sue them for mental damages? I mean, this is America–anyone can sue anyone for anything.

  • Anonymous

    I thought the suicide sequences in Grounds Hog Day were dark, but grimly funny. I think it was done not for cheap laughs, but reflected a the understandable frustration of a man trapped with himself when he was not a likable person. I think Titus bit on his mom suicide reflects his way of coping with the pain of her death, and is also ok.

    Switching to mental illness, Joon in Benny in Joon struck me as ok – frustrating and endearing by turns, but also while deeply damaged able to become part of a relationship.

    Generally speaking, suicide/mental jokes being ok depend on if they are humanizing or not. If it makes you empathize, if you can relate, if it makes the pain bearable – than it’s ok. If it is othering, if it makes it weird, if it feels exploitative than it’s not ok.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    That would be nice, but unfortunately, they can’t take that chance.

  • http://user.drunkduck.com/dumok dumok

    Uhm, actually I can see your point but that is not the context I was speaking about.

  • Anonymous

    Who exactly was going to sue them over this?

  • Anonymous

    Cause not all women are lesbians. Duh.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    Honestly? Nobody. But that isn’t the point. A corporation that wants to remain in business doesn’t admit culpability for anything, because then if anyone *does* claim harm, they can’t use the defence that they weren’t culpable. It sucks. I hate it. But that’s how it goes.

  • Jamie Jeans

    Now if only DC Comics would apologize for hiring Orson Scott Card…

  • Anonymous

    Too little too late. Heads need to roll at DC before I’ll consider any of their products of any sort.

  • Ashe

    “We’re really sorry you called us out on being shitheads.”

  • Mina

    Eh, no. In that case you say something more along the lines of “I’m sorry I did something that offended you,” not “Sorry you’re offended.” The difference is subtle, but one accepts responsibility for having caused someone pain and the other just dismisses people for having pain over something you find painless. It comes across as selfish and belittling and will never carry the same weight as a simple, genuine apology.

  • Ashe

    Wait, wait. Let me get my bingo sheet out. I’ve been on a roll lately.

    “I am sorry for those who took offense-” Ooh, got one!

    “Our intentions were always to-” Another one, sweet!

    “…that insulting or making fun of any kind was never our intention-” Didn’t I already check this one?

    “…all stop blaming DC Comics for this since It was my screw up-” Okay…admitting some responsibility here, that’s different…

    “I hope all the people thinking the worst of us can now understand…” …then putting the responsibility right back onto everyone else. BINGO!

    Yeah, nice attempt to take the bullet for DC, but I sure had to go through a lot of self-serving, responsibility-ducking PR nonsense to get there. Whatever, bro.

  • Brian

    She also put women and Blacks and Asians in different categories. So what?

  • totz the plaid

    DC editorial are idiots.

    I stopped buying DC’s comics years ago because of their stupidity and it’s only gotten worse.

    I also stopped buying Marvel around the same time because of stupid plot decisions.

    I’ll still see movies if they look good or buy classic trades/graphic novels from time to time, but I don’t buy issues.

  • RodimusBen

    I appreciate your willingness to step outside of the Internet groupthink about this topic. I don’t have much of a problem with the story and what it depicts, as much as I think it was a stupid choice of a page to ask fans to illustrate. Why go for a really weird page, like showing Harley naked and contemplating methods of suicide, instead of asking them to illustrate a straight-up action sequence. Wouldn’t that be a better measure of their potential drawing talent anyway?

  • Aerecibo

    Looking back, I can see how this whole ordeal is perhaps more offensive to those who have lost loved ones to suicide, so I can see how it would leave a sour note with them. However, I am on the other end of the spectrum and personally just don’t see offense to it. Just wanted to add that bit to my original comment.

    As an artist, I absolutely agree with you. The challenge itself is rather daunting as well as intimidating in that it’s so specific in what it asks for. The scene is, to me, a more personal one to the creators and I think they should be the ones illustrating it. I like the idea of a contest, but I think they should’ve asked for artists to draw an action scene, you know something more common to a comic book. This contest to me seems to ask for an illustration that would be more suited as a promotional picture or perhaps a cover, but not as a scene from within the comic book. It could work within the comic book, but to invite someone with a different style of drawing, lining, colouring etc would look weird I think in the midst of a comic book instead of maybe in the back with the bonus drawings.

  • Christopher Ridgers

    Don’t apologize DC, you did naff all wrong.

  • Anonymous

    I get that it’s all supposed to be some huge meta “joke,” but I’d still rather see a suicide attempt that pays tribute to an interesting character rather than reducing her to a pair of boobs and a vagina.

  • Anonymous

    “I’m a young woman who loves comic books and who’s dealt with depression and suicidal thoughts for many years. To be honest, I didn’t find any offense to this whole ordeal.”

    I honestly think that’s wonderful. However, you don’t speak for everyone who goes through this ordeal; not me, not my close friends. There are those of us who are triggered by something like that. Going on the default that this drawing is potentially harmful to those already burdened with pain is what the foundations for suicide prevention are trying to state.

  • Thomas Hayes

    Yes they did. Thinking about it for five minutes could have saved them a lot of trouble. It was obvious to me as a fan of Palmiotti and Conner what they were probably doing, but to anyone not familiar with them it’s not so simple.

  • Thomas Hayes

    The tone of the art wasn’t clear from the script. This left how it was supposed to be played open to interpretation. I’m British and I had to think about it for a while – it’s only because I know how Palmiotti and Conner think that I realised it wasn’t meant to be played straight.

  • Aerecibo

    I wasn’t trying to generalize people with depression, I apologize if it came across that way, that’s not what I intended. Everyone is different, and in that I’m trying to say to lump us all together and say our bad thoughts will be set off by a comic book, I think is wrong. Usually such thoughts, for me, come from an episode or a personal event. Neither of which would occur from a comic book. Just my humble thoughts on the matter.

  • Aerecibo

    Well, to be fair, do you get into a bathtub full of water with your clothes on? Could be the artists thought only of that. Most likely not, but it’s a possibility. I do agree with everything you’re saying that. Very good points.

  • Aerecibo

    See, I’m bipolar too. I wonder if that’s a coincidence neither of us are offended by it or maybe there’s something else to that. I would think our opinions on the matter should be heard considering those with bipolar are more likely to commit suicide, so we have some ground on the matter.

    I definitely see the humour (I’m American, though I watch a lot of British shows). But I find humour in everything since it’s my way of keeping my head above the bad thoughts. Maybe it doesn’t offend us because we’ve fought so long? Idk, I find it interesting.

  • Kamil Kukowski

    Paraphrasing abraham van helsing ‘ they may have failed today, and now they hide to their ruined castle; when they’ll wait for another chance to strike”

  • Laura Truxillo

    Especially since the latter has a tendency to come off more as “Sorry I got in trouble.” Which, well…we’re not kiddies anymore.

  • Mina

    I don’t think it was a concern that the art would make people want to kill themselves. I think people were offended because the requested panel seemed to both trivialize and sexualize a serious, upsetting topic. If a character is attempting suicide (which, given only the panel description, seemed to be the case), it should be treated with respect and sincerity even if it contains an element of humor. Besides, of all the things they could have asked artists to draw, why that? It was a really bizarre, macabre request. If they’d thought about it for five minutes, they probably would have realized not everyone was going to “get it.”

  • Aerecibo

    I totally get that. I should’ve specified the meaning of my comment. I was replying to all the people who made claims that the contest was insensitive to those who are depressed and suicidal. I already commented earlier how I felt like the art they requested was not best suited. They should’ve purposed a action scene.

    More over, I don’t see sexualization in it personally, because who gets in the bathtub with clothes on? They didn’t have to pick a bathtub scene, but to be fair, it’s such a instinctive thing to remove clothes before getting into the tub, I just didn’t really see anything wrong with it. Idk, just my thoughts.

  • Mina

    Well personally, if I were getting a bathtub with the intent of killing myself, I would definitely keep my clothes on. Why would it matter at that point if your clothes got wet? And besides that, oftentimes suicidal people do have thoughts regarding people finding their body afterward, and I have trouble imagining most people would be fine with being found naked when they have the option of being found clothed. But then, that kind of thing would vary from person to person, so who knows. In this case though, the panel specified that she was naked and this was the moment just before death, and though that may sometimes happen in real life, there’s no reason they had to choose that as a scene to be drawn.

  • Lea Tapp

    Different privilege differentials = different minorities. While I may be a woman (& white and straight), my experience of privilege is far different from my lesbian, bi, or trans sisters. It is different for my sisters of color. A woman living with a visible disability may have very different experiences from a woman living without disabilities and even women with so called “invisible” disabilities. While we are all women, our experiences are different. We are not homogeneous or monolithic. Yet, when we talk about “women” we tend to leave out minority women. That has to stop. There is nothing wrong in specifying other aspects of a person’s identity besides their gender.

  • Lea Tapp

    I’m glad you feel that way. I do not. I find it exploitative. I find the idea of a woman used as a titillating sex object even when she is ill and taking her own life to be disgusting. When do we get to be human? When is violence to us not entertainment for others? I do not find this trope to be creative or imaginative. I find it Hack. It needs to stop.

    I’m also a woman who deals with depression. Perhaps being older than you I’ve had time to see this shit done time and time again and nothing about it is fresh or defensible. To me it is hardly different from the old cartoons depicting pickaninnies as comic entertainment. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pickaninny

  • BatWatch

    But shouldn’t society be less ready to get offended at a drop of the hat? If people gave others the benefit of a doubt rather than immediately assuming the worst, this would not be an issue.

  • BatWatch

    Yeah, I see what you are saying. I just hate that this became an issue in the first place since DC has enough trouble doing something daring in the first place, and when they finally do something that could be a tiny bit edgy, everybody tell them to step back in the box. Lame.

  • Aerecibo

    To each their own. Why are you trying to tell me this and not to the people who are in charge of these things? I am by no mean a feminist. I’m a housewife who loves it, I just do whatever makes me happy. Life is too short and precious to spend it being offended by such things, in my opinion. And just because I’m young doesn’t mean I haven’t seen things. I just choose to view life a different way than you do. No harm in that.

    But I can’t help but feel your eloquent post goes to waste on me. Why don’t you email it to DC? Those are the people you want to change.

  • Aerecibo

    Ahh, thank you for this. I’m glad to get another post from someone who suffers from depression that feels the way I do. All my friends were outraged by this ordeal, while I…I have much more important things on my mind.

    I think that’s the thing, when you’re depressed, stuff like sexualizing women doesn’t hold a lot of precedence. Atleast not to me. Ergo, to me this is the same ol’ same ol’.

    I will say that I feel the internet has turned a majority of us more vulnerable and sensitive. I feel like we’ve lost our tough outer shell. It’s the same thing as living in a bubble. You might be safe from everything while you’re inside, but the moment you go out, you’re plagued with germs you have no defense against. Maybe I’m just different, but I’m glad to find others who don’t let such things get under our skin. We need to not be so serious in life.

  • Aerecibo

    Nor was I trying to speak for everyone. I merely wanted to state that not all depressed people are this sensitive to the mention of death. To me, my bad thoughts come from episodes or events. If I’m what I said offended you, I apologize, it want my intention. I just wanted to voice my opinion. Thanks for sharing yours. Keep strong.

  • Aerecibo

    All I can say is that I’m human and I mispoke. It happens. Why are you trying to fight me? I was just staying my opinion. I know everyone’s different and handles things differently. To the rest I won’t reply, because I’ve already made comments regarding my feelings. But seriously, if you have such a problem with it, you should contact DC. Cos nothing good will come from messaging a stranger in the comment section.

  • Aerecibo

    All I can say is that I’m human and I mispoke. It happens. Why are you trying to fight me? I was just stating my opinion. I know everyone’s different and handles things differently. To the rest I won’t reply, because I’ve already made comments regarding my feelings. But seriously, if you have such a problem with it, you should contact DC. Cos nothing good will come from messaging a stranger in the comment section.

  • Aerecibo

    THIS. This is what I was trying to say but wasn’t eloquent enough to. Thank you.

    If I could like this multiple times, I would.

  • Aerecibo

    I’m posting this to let everyone know who wishes to reply to my comments. I just created an account on here to say one thing, now that it’s done, I won’t be logging back on since I have no need to. So if you wish to reply to my comments, that’s fine, just know that I won’t be reading them. Thanks for all your thoughts. Keep strong everyone and have a nice day!

  • Lea Tapp

    FFS.
    Bingo!

  • Bryant Francis

    If you’re comparing this to the offensiveness of Family Guy I don’t think you properly understand or empathize with any of the legitimate emotional reactions to this contest. (Also, remember, they did this on the eve of national suicide awareness week).

  • Anonymous

    Well spoken, thank you for adding that.

  • Anonymous

    I can understand the need for a defense, because sometimes it feels like when people disagree with you, they’re trying to fight you. Or say something negative regarding you. The things we’re pointing out need to be said, because just like the foundations against suicide don’t speak for all people in that situation (like you), you don’t either. You speak for yourself, and I get that. I simply wanted to clarify you. Thanks for sharing your story; it’s important that everyone is heard.

  • Anonymous

    “well, speaking as someone who has lost a loved one to suicide, I don’t find any sour note…”

    Once again, you are generalizing. You don’t speak for everyone in that situation. This is YOUR experience, only. It only pertains to YOU.

    “Depicting suicide in itself shouldn’t be offensive.”

    It’s not about being defensive. It’s about triggering those who have perhaps survived their pain and/or still struggle with it. Or maybe someone who’s come upon a loved one who committed suicide. On top of all that, as Pi mentioned in the comments above, society likes to take suicide lightly. And it victim blames. And it isolates. And it leads to the exclusion, the validation some people need….to commit suicide. So in reality, being callous and unemphatic towards the cause makes the situation that much worse.

    “Patronising readers and suggesting that seeing a character committing suicide will lead them to follow a similar path IS offensive.”

    I agree. And I wonder how you came to that conclusion? Because it’s a very powerful silencing tactic………….

  • Anonymous

    No to all of that. Think about it…if this is how you feel, don’t you think the ones who disagree with you have thought of this as well? We’re not stupid. Criticizing what we love shouldn’t come down to silencing tactics from those who disagree, like you.

  • Anonymous

    Dude…you are diagreeing incorrectly. You are:

    -Using silencing tactics: “I find your comment slightly offensive in your impolite language and screaming tone.”

    -Generalizing, as if you speak for everyone with depression, etc: “On the other hand, I think the Harley joke about suicide was completely funny, and I’m someone who has considered suicide very seriously during some dark times.”

    -Telling people what to say, while trying to be offended at the idea of others telling people what to say: “Can’t we just say, “I found that funny,” or “I didn’t find that funny,” instead of trying to tell people how incredibly offended they should be that someone made a joke on a controversial topic?”

    -Whoops My Privilege is Showing: “Most adult comedy is controversial on one level or another.”

    -And a closing silencing tactic, just in case the message wasn’t clear enough before: “but notice how I’m not cursing and screaming about it?”

    Kindly back off :)

  • Anonymous

    Wow…..no.

  • Anonymous

    “We’re sorry we got caught,” Very abusive way of thinking…

  • Anonymous

    “but they did not do anything wrong here…”

    O.o….o.O It’s….not…up to you? Do you not understand that?

  • Anonymous

    Well if they get sued, then that’s what should happen…? Why is our society so concerned with “not getting sued?” I wonder if it has something to do with “frivolous lawsuits”, which are in reality not frivolous at all.

  • Anonymous

    As they should.

  • Anonymous

    I like how you’re an obvious troll :)

  • Mina

    Public service announcement/preaching to the choir: Feminism is not incompatible with enjoying life as a housewife. I wish that myth would go away.

  • Mina

    This would also not be an issue if people took time to consider their words and actions a little more thoroughly, thinking to themselves, “Could this be offensive to some? If so, is there a way to make it less offensive? And if not, is there a good reason I need to do it anyway despite the offense it will cause?”

  • http://taste-is-sweet.livejournal.com/ Aundrea Singer

    This. Why is it that people who aren’t upset or offended by something seem so often to decide that everyone else shouldn’t be upset or offended either? “Everyone makes [insert minority] jokes. What’s your problem?” or “Everyone uses the word ‘gay’ to mean something bad. Why are you making such a big deal out of it?”

  • SATAN’S ALIENS

    When the comic code authority banned depictions of suicide it was called censorship, now when lobbyist groups of people who’s job it is to make noise about their particular cause (or they’re rendered irrelevant) effectively get the same end result its called progress? The complaints were made over a panel synopsis with NO CONTEXT. The people who were outraged had no idea what was going on in the rest of the story or the tone or the character involved. It seems like an over reaction to say the least. I have seen no objective evidence to suggest D.C did something wrong and should have apologized.

    I mean, Using that logic I can only imagine the kind of fury that these people would have kicked up years back had they heard that Neil Gaiman planned on releasing a comic where the main character spends the majority of the book justifying his own suicide. That turned out to be an ANTI SUICIDE comic by the way, but you’d only know that if it had been finished and published and you could read it in context.

    This was over zealous thought policing (as D.C was forced to apologize for an idea not a finished product) bordering on censorship and I wouldn’t be so quick to demonize D.C. or rally behind the effectiveness of independent lobbying without considering a few points. It sort of starts to set a precedent that editorial control of media can be dictated by those who complain the loudest and the longest about not getting what they believe in out of it.

    You’ll be happy about the instances in which you get what you want and feel victimized when another lobby, probably with more money and better P.R gets what they want. Meanwhile the art will be left to committee and tumble farther away from inspiration towards mind numbing mediocrity.

  • Ashe

    “They’ll be so angry they won’t watch where they’re going and trip, sending their wallets flying out of their pockets and into our offices.”

  • Ashe

    “…but people are much tougher than that.”

    So tough that criticism toward something you like makes you resort to tone-policing and silencing tactics, eh?

  • Amanda

    Thanks for being the lone voice on this. I’m also not offended by the comic, but mildly concerned about what is, in my opinion, this over-reaction.

  • Laura Truxillo

    “The complaints were made over a panel synopsis with NO CONTEXT.”

    That’s…that’s kind of the point.

    There was no context.

    I mean, I’m not up in arms. But I do think it was in poor taste. Not because the comic had suicide (even if it had been an actual suicide happening in the comic itself, I don’t think people would’ve gotten so up in arms. It happens in stories). But because DC basically said: “Hey, artists who’ve been trying to get seen–you have one chance to be seen, and it’s to draw this page.” And then, without context, the page they chose appeared to involve a naked woman committing suicide.

    It’s not that it was in the story. It’s that it was the test-run page. The gate-keeping page, if you will.

    Adding Palmiotti’s explanation to it, it makes perfect sense. But initially, there was no context to be had.

  • Gary Keyes

    What the hell is going on at DC these days?

  • http://www.thechildhealthsite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=1 Edcedc8

    its a shame Jimmy and Amanda capitulated to idiots.

  • http://www.thechildhealthsite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=1 Edcedc8

    now where’s my ‘passive aggressive internet asshole hiding behind being concerned’ bingo card?

  • http://www.thechildhealthsite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=1 Edcedc8

    “It’s now very common to hear people say, ‘I’m rather offended by that.’ As if that gives them certain rights. It’s actually nothing more… than a whine. ‘I find that offensive.’ It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. ‘I am offended by that.’ Well, so fucking what.”

  • Emily Hill

    being someone who almost did try to kill herself I thank god for sending my niece into this world to keep me grounded even if this was suppose to be a dream sequence it was an awful idea for a contest

  • Anonymous

    DC Comics would love to employ you :)

  • Anonymous

    I know this isn’t an original sentiment, but… what the HELL is wrong with DC? Are they being awful on purpose now? Is it some kind of elaborate Springtime For Hitler tax dodge or something? Is someone blackmailing them? What is causing this shitness?

  • Anonymous

    Hey Batwatch!

    This is an interesting line of inquiry. In social interactions it’s that ambiguous space between the speaker and the listener that give meaning to our words, and not solely one or the other. I do believe that we should always the most compassionate interpretation of the motives and intentions of speakers.

    There also exists a social responsibility to understand how our words affect others. I’ll call it the Let them eat cake principle. There is no evidence that that Marie Antoinette said that if the peasants are starving because they they have no bread, to “let them eat cake”. However to the proletariat of 19th century France it was an extreme potent story of the ignorance, oblivious and selfishness of the nobility. Antoinette’s intentions in the story are kind, but the ignorance in them make the words cruel.

    Being socially clueless it does make me a little nervous because I want people to know my intentions are good and judge me accordingly. But I’m also really tired of people saying, “How was I supposed to know that [horribly offensive action] would offend anyone? I meant well!!” At some point people are responsible for educating themselves on what their words will mean to other people. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  • Ashe

    A quote from a Seriously Edgy Guy® who’s scared of the consequences of talking out of his ass.

    This is a Seriously Edgy comment!

  • Ashe

    Oh, it’s right next to the Tough Guy Quoting Other Edgy Tough Guys bingo card.

    I don’t have enough stickers for all the slots you filled up, badass.

  • Ashe

    Giving DC the benefit of the doubt?

    Laughing hysterically into my keyboard.

  • Anonymous

    ……Really? LOLFOREVER!!11

  • Anonymous

    Ooooooh! *high fives*

  • Anonymous

    Ashe, srsly, zie’s “educated”, duh. Obvs this person knows all teh things, like wymenz like to play teh victim………..

  • Anonymous

    There’s a very good lesson written here, BatWatch….

  • Anonymous

    “I’ve been suicidal. How much more empathetic can I get without being dead?”

    Look, I know we’ve all been taught to be empathetically stunted (the masculine gender WAY more, at times), but srsly…….it’s not that hard to learn.

  • Anonymous

    Again……very privileged response.

  • Anonymous

    What really drove me nuts about this whole thing was how they emphasised that Harley should be naked in the bath. It was not just making fun of suicide, it was sexualising it!
    I ahve to commend DC for upping the game of “fridging” – now the dames do it to themselves!

  • Anonymous

    I can’t really count this as a win for censorship as nothing was actually suppressed – the contest is ongoing, and there are no plans to cancel the comic panel. Actually, were were provided with more information, along with the apology.

  • Leia

    I actually wrote a letter to the company. Not that it really will matter in the long run, but I’m pretty much done with DC because of this. I can gladly spend my money on other things.

  • Anonymous

    I apologize if my point was unclear or if I misunderstood, but was anything actually censored? From what I understood, the contest and the actual comic are still going forward. Both DC and the artists individually said something like, “Sorry if we offended, here is some context.” I don’t see any intention to shut stuff down. I also haven’t seen any petitions or efforts to have DC not publish the comic (but I might have just missed them).

    What I have seen is a lot of grumbling that the panels were in poor taste without some sort of context-especially for what is otherwise a cool contest. I don’t see airing discontent as particularly outside the fan experience – like who didn’t grumble about Jarjar Binks or have some issue with something the new 52? I mean the write is not our B*** but that doesn’t mean fans have to forgo anytime of critical feedback.

    I think likening an apology to the self-censorship that was the Comic Code is a tad melodramatic.

  • Mina

    ” I’ve gone through about half these comments, and I’ve yet to see one person say, “I was suicidal, and this would have made things worse,” yet I’ve seen at least three others people who have been suicidal who have said, “Seriously, this is no big deal.”"

    That is true, and might be a good point, except that suicide does not affect just the person that dies. What about those who have lost loved ones to suicide? To see a dark time that you survived and got through might be okay, but to someone who can only think of someone who didn’t make it, that can be quite painful.

    (Also, you keep bringing up Family Guy as a counterpoint. It seems a little irrelevant, seeing as it assumes people like or at least tolerate the show. Personally, I do not. So there you go. At least some of us are consistently bothered by suicide jokes.)

  • http://www.thechildhealthsite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=1 Edcedc8

    you just called yourself an edgy tough guy?

    thats sad.

  • http://www.thechildhealthsite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=1 Edcedc8

    you are what is wrong with the internet.

  • Anonymous

    Jesus Christ, this is ridiculous. It’s just bad timing – I’ve been affected by suicide attempts and I didn’t find it offensive at ALL.

  • Kyla Gray

    Personally, I haven’t been affected by suicide, but I still found this offensive. I should probably explain. What I found offensive was the apparent and obvious lack of context. Maybe that’s just the English major in me, who has spent hours upon hours researching context of various literary works in order to formulate a interpretation of said work.

    Someone, in the comments below, constantly brings up Family Guy as an example of where offensive jokes are told that people don’t find offensive (for now, I’m going to ignore the generalization that most people like Family Guy in the first place). Marvel’s Deadpool would be a more relevant example because it is a comic book series that effectively does what DC is trying to do with Harley Quinn.

    The thing Deadpool and Family Guy have that this contest lacks, is context. The suicide jokes in those series make sense and are funny among the 20 pages of Deadpool doing stupid things or the 20+ minutes of Peter Griffin shenanigans. All the offensive jokes work together to tell the story.

    What bothers me is that DC thought that no one would be offended by a naked woman committing suicide without an explanation of what the tone is supposed to be or what the other 15 or so pages of the comic would contain. That is a serious problem.

    That DC expects artists to somehow read their minds in regards to this is another issue entirely. Why a woman committing suicide? Why not Harley Quinn fighting a cop with her hammer? Why not Harley Quinn picking flowers while people are on fire in the background? There are a million things DC could have requested in place of the suicide that wouldn’t have needed nearly as much context and thus made the entire situation easier for the people involved. Why didn’t they do that?

    Different people have found various aspects of this situation offensive. That doesn’t make their concerns any less important or worthy of note. Just like how people who aren’t offended deserve to be heard. Rather than say “I’ve been affected by suicide and didn’t find it offensive” try to say, “I disagree, I didn’t think it was offensive because….” That’s how logical arguments are made and you’re less likely to dismiss the opinion of others which by the way, tends to offend people.

  • Ashe

    females are really sensitive and like to complain

    men never do this

    wait that a female has a thought????

    gotta complain about it!

  • Ashe

    Haha, we disagree on some points, but even we both can consent that DC is not doing well lately.

    DC’s consistent fuck-ups are bringing people together: no matter what!

  • Christine

    We have met Dr. Fredric Wertham and he is us.

  • Christine

    Except you said “….lesbians OR women” which, linguistically speaking, places them in separate, exclusive categories.

    No big deal really. No call to condescend in responce to it or in responding to the responce. But Zanya’s amusement is founded in a correct reading of the language used. So.

  • Christine

    The answer to “Could this be offensive to some?” can only ever be “yes”, and is therefore ineffective as cause for discernment. One needs more to go by.

  • Mina

    No, there are definitely a lot of things people say or do that are not offensive to anyone. >_>

    Perhaps I should specify (though I thought it was implied) that it’s more of “offensive to some in whatever audience is hearing/seeing the thing.” The broader your audience, the more this may mean you need to be mindful of your actions.

    And the last question is the crucial one, I think. Sometimes, there’s a particular story you want to share or information that needs to be gotten across, and there’s simply no good way to soften the blow. But this was not one of those times. This was a panel devoid of all context. It wasn’t communicating anything. Had it actually been a part of a story, it would have arguably been necessary to telling that particular story (and probably also wouldn’t have upset as many people as a result–people can usually accept something if they know the context). But as it was, it was offensive for no apparent reason at all, and if you want to get along with your audience, that’s not the way to go.

  • Christine

    I disagree. The offence may take different forms, it’s true, but the potential is there in anything, because what people value is as diverse as the whole of humanity. I recall an episode of The Office where one character wanted to put an Anne Geddes style cute baby picture in her cubicle, and a coworker was offended by that. He valued aesthetics. He valued art. He felt it was important to the cause of humanity, and needed to reflect the highest standards. He found the pandering nature of the picture in question an affront to these values he held dear. It would be too easy to say, “oh, but those values don’t count”, but who are we to judge the values another holds dear? It would be hubristic to do so.

    We can only say that some things are universally nonoffensive by dismissing those values we don’t understand or respect. Let’s not do that. Instead, let’s recognize that every person is unique and value our diversity of opinion.

    I don’t care to defend DC Comics because I have great distaste for their current product. So, I won’t.

  • Anonymous

    Aight, sorry I made a grammatical error everyone!

  • Anonymous

    Hello, tone police. I’m not gonna apologize for thinking that suicide is never funny under any circumstances. Good day.

  • Anonymous

    “You ignored both my points and essentially said, “You’re insensitive,” so you dodged content and went for an emotional jab.”

    *sigh* Nope.

  • Anonymous

    “Seriously, what the heck do you mean?”

    This is one of my favorites: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is/

    I do not have privilege, due to how you just silenced me and made me out to be “crazy” with your second paragraph.

  • Anonymous

    You’re not interested in learning, just to go back and forth. So nope.

  • Anonymous

    Due to the things you are saying and how many times you have commented on this article, I have a pretty good idea that you have a certain amount of privilege (I’m guessing at least male). You’re very used to stating your mind and having others agree with you, even if it’s ignorance. I am justifiably angry with your ignorance, and your reaction is to get defensive. That’s fine, just don’t expect me to entertain you further. You can either try to figure out where I’m coming from, or shove off.

  • Anonymous

    Okay, player :)

  • Anonymous

    Is it time to ignore this troll, Ashe? I don’t want to junk up The Mary Sue’s comment section.

  • Anonymous

    >.> Bingo?………

  • Anonymous

    “Are you suggesting that yelling, cursing, and calling people names is not a silencing tactic. She was doing that towards DC and those who back them.”

    Cursing in anger, even at someone, can be a silencing tactic. For instance, a man cursing at a woman and using specific misogynistic slurs, would be as such. BBDoodles was not doing that. Policing zie’s anger, and suggesting zie NOT curse, is crossing the line. so I asked you to stop.

    “Generalizing – I did not say I spoke for all depressed people. That was you who inferred that which means you were, either intentionally or unintentionally, misinterpreting my words for your own purpose.”

    In other words, I am “playing the victim”, since I “misinterpreted” what you were trying to say. Intention is not magical. You stepped on my foot. It hurt. Stop it.

    “Telling people what to say – BBDoodles cursed at people and told them how they should act”

    The problem comes from a privileged person telling a minority how to act-THAT is problematic. It IS the internet, and I have no idea who’s what-what gender, sexual orientation, race, etc- without someone telling me. But I have a fairly good idea of who is who, due to how they react, what they say, and how many times they respond to something. Of course, whatever zie identifies as, I will take as truth, especially if I’m wrong.

    “Privilege – What are you talking about?”

    This is a great time to learn about feminism.

  • Anonymous

    “Who gets to decide what is wrong and right?”

    Nobody. Not one person on this earth has all the answers. But there are people who know way more then those at the top: Minorities. Grassroots organizations. The people with the experience in a situation you’ve never/will never be in. LISTEN.

  • Anonymous

    Ooo…I totally missed that. Ty for pointing that out.

  • http://www.thechildhealthsite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=1 Edcedc8

    people with differing opinions = trolls,
    by that logic you would be a troll, though.

  • http://www.thechildhealthsite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=1 Edcedc8

    ok, it was hyperbole: you are just using a dumb cliche like it’s edgy or something.

  • Ashe

    Good point.

  • Anonymous

    ….Okay…….

  • The Gotham Ninja

    Its like this: People in the media dont seem to truly give a flip about SQUAT! Til they do, stuff like this continues to happen. You cant be truly serious if you dont care, and too many refuse to care

  • The Gotham Ninja

    Yup, nobody wants to admit they’re wrong. Selfishness

  • The Gotham Ninja

    This is exactly what my dad’s been trying to teach me: Taking responsibility for your actions. America will fall because nobody wants to be held responsible for anything, yet they want everyone else to. Is no one seeing a huge problem here? Its even happening in DC Comics!

  • Ram Rom

    Uh, yes , it is up to me, and you, and BatWatch. You are a prick, Thae86. And you offend me with your prick-ness. What shall we do about that? I demand an apology from you, Thae86. Now!

  • Ram Rom

    Thae86 just proved he/she is incapable of rational thought with his/her statement above.

  • Ryan Colson

    Totes

  • Anonymous

    I feel like I was a little cross too, even though you had
    just complimented me on my politeness in another thread. I’m enjoying talking to you, Batwatch, so I’m
    sorry if I come across as curt. (I’m going to answer your other points in that other thread, because I really want to focus on just this question.)

    “In regard to censorship, DC censored themselves on this one and scrapped this page.”

    No, they haven’t. The apology says nothing about canceling the contest or not publishing the content. The contest is still up, and you can still enter it here http://www.dccomics.com/node/305151.
    Where are you getting the idea that this is scrapped?

  • Tora

    Jokes by their very nature are meant to bring amusement which is not near as strong in happiness as joy is. They are also sometimes meant to illustrate a point, be a coping mechanism, or to avoid consequences. For instance, my dad didn’t like when I used sarcasm because I was really passive-aggressively getting out my teenage anger. Coping mechanism maybe, avoiding the consequences of saying what I really mean without “meaning it”? Definitely.

    And avoiding consequences is usually where the audience gets pissed off. Because a LOT of people make offensive jokes that they truly and actually believe. That’s why tone of voice, delivery, and context (as in the case of this topic) are incredibly important.

    You keep bringing up Family Guy so I’ll bring up South Park. I love the latter and don’t really like the former. They both make a lot of jokes about race, gender, sexuality, etc. But SP does it more evenhandedly. Its jokes are usually related to the plot of the episode and often the plots subvert reality. Like when the Native Americans casino owners were the rich, land-stealing group.

    Family Guy’s jokes are usually one-offs entirely unrelated to the episode’s plot, more in the vein of The Simpsons. But where Simpsons’ smartest and most moral characters are Marge and Lisa (and yes, that is an issue in itself), FG treats its mother and daughter worse making many more deadpan jokes at their expense than the father or brother. Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin both make stupid comments and do dumb things but Homer rarely does either out of maliciousness and promptly falls humble and sweet when Marge calls him out. Peter is just an asshole..

    Does it mean racist or sexist jokes don’t make a lot of people laugh, even by the jokes subjects? No, it IS subjective. But being subjective does not mean interpretation is entirely on the audience and joker has no influence. Have you seen the comments about Cory Monteith’s death? Because many said they were just joking. It’s not a black and white thing where we should never joke about death. I have laughed at rape jokes and death jokes and suicide jokes and blonde jokes and geek jokes. But it’s not fucking funny when the joker actually believes what they’re saying and knows that a joke is the ACCEPTED form of saying it. “Hey, it was just a joke. Lighten up. I’m sorry you got offended. You have no sense of humor.”

    Jokes can be mean to BE MEAN and not to amuse. And the real kicker is even when the joke about a stereotype is really just a joke intended to be funny and is not endorsed by the joker… it REINFORCES the stereotype. Crap, the psychology of stereotypes is scary and depressing.

    And all this is why it’s DC’s fault for not providing context. Because most people didn’t know if they were being serious or ironic, showing a “real” scene or a dream scene, or why the hell they picked one where she’s naked (doesn’t matter it’s a bathtub, they didn’t HAVE to use it).

  • Tora

    “everybody who has struggled with depression on this page agrees that this is not over the line”

    Then let me disprove that statement. I have struggled with depression for 5 years and this stupidly sexualized suicide was over the line. Do I think suicide and other things should never be joked about? No, I agree with
    George Carlin, anything can be funny. But context is almost always needed at least for the potentially more offensive. I am white and rarely get offended by jokes about white people. That is because I am NEVER reminded that I am a white person in my day to day life. That is what is meant by white privilege or male privilege.

    As the majority group (majority being the group with the most power not the most numbers), the things that happen based on my race are almost always neutral to good things or positive stereotypes. It’s like Stephen Colbert: he “doesn’t see race”, he has “color blindness”, but he knows he’s white because he “owns a yacht” or some such race joke that illustrates the difference in power between white people and minority people. I have the privilege to be oblivious to my race. That doesn’t mean there aren’t black people who THINK they don’t get stereotyped nor women who THINK they don’t come across sexism (like the Guest poster above). It’s that they are more likely to be in more accepted positions where they don’t encounter it AS OFTEN and have developed a Low Stigma Consciousness. For the Guest poster above, a housewife runs into a LOT less sexism than an engineer because one is the expected role and the other is not. Same for female-dominated fields. It is expected for women to like children, to be nurturing, caring, etc so its okay for them to be nurses more than doctors, teachers more than researchers, etc. But trust me, just because a woman didn’t realize her boss just made a sexist comment doesn’t mean it didn’t happen and it didn’t have an effect on her. (oh there’s a lot of great research about gender).

    Now, I didn’t know enough of Harley Quinn’s authors to expect sensitivity or awareness like a few have said. And I didn’t get enough from the descriptions to know these were not real suicide scenes but Harley being toyed with by the authors like a few others immediately knew just because it’s Harley. But that’s why DC screwed up when they didn’t provide context. These are VERY ambiguous, potentially offensive scenes.

    And you didn’t get offended though you have a stronger connection to the scene than most. But offensive jokes are offensive for reasons beyond the
    joke itself. As I’ve explained in a comment above, they are often truly meant and even when they’re not, they reinforce stereotypes. In this case, there are stereotypes about women through sexualizing her and taking away her agency, and about suicide/suicidal people. Did none of the people with suicide history give a second thought to the fact that the context illustrates Harley is even MORE of a victim because the authors are “putting” her through this? If victimhood is something to take issue with (and I too don’t really see myself as a victim), then that reinforces the stereotype even more…

    Finally, here’s a question for everyone: if this had been the exact same story with a man down to the same personality and comic history, do you think there would have been a bathtub scenario or any other naked scenario? ….it occurs to me baths are for “sissies” as repeatedly shown to me on HGTV so let’s just say shower =P

  • Tora

    Considering my white and male (and gay) Social Psychology professor knows about this more than many minorities because he studies it for a living, then no white men should not shut up. But every time someone brings up their personal experience on any subject (whether it’s “politically correct” or not mind you), he says “and that is a variance of one”.

    We all have personal experience but whether or not that experience can be generalized to most people or situations cannot be determined through anything but experimentation!

    Don’t shut up, BatWatch! But doooooo please try to learn more about the research into how these things have a negative impact on many people.

  • Tora

    @Thae86:disqus

    Okay, this… is so not helping. You are jumping on people for generalizing when they are only bringing up their personal experience. It is PERSONAL experience. Please feel free to remind them that it can’t be generalized to others with a suicidal or depressive history but do not accuse them of doing already doing that. They are not using the words: generally, always, usually, everyone, most people, and others to indicate they are applying it to everyone.

    Except in the case where BatWatch said everyone who had a suicide history had commented and were not offended BUT that is an empirical statement that can be proven or disproven… Although I’m now wondering about BBDoodles’ mention of “trigger” and if that means she has a history with depression or suicide… But then that’s entirely her own business.

    I also don’t consider BatWatch commenting on BBDoodles’ language as a silence tactic. He generalized to everyone else in how he thinks people should act. Plus, though it has no bearing on whether it is or is not a tactic, I bet BBDoodles already thought about responses to her language and just didn’t care =)

    @batwatch:disqus

    Comments on what DC should do are not silencing tactics. She certainly didn’t mention other fans or how they should act, she only referred to herself as a fan. She told a COMPANY and BUSINESS what to do. And screw SCOTUS, DC is not a person. Customers have the right to criticize and complain about a company’s actions (anyone has that right really, thank you free speech) and DC has the right to ignore those complaints. However, their choice will impact their business because DC relies on people making choices with their money.

    And how exactly will her being polite about “telling them how to act” make a difference to anyone? Businesses respond faster to anger than politeness IF they respond at all.

  • Tora

    Being a feminist and a “housewife” are not mutually exclusive. My mother was a stay-at-home mom with a lot of talent in domestic things. She was an amazing cook, to the point that she shouldn’t have put off going to culinary school (she couldn’t afford it after getting divorced). She loved gardening and arts and crafts and all sorts of things “homemakers” (whatever that means) are supposed to do. Except, I don’t think she particularly enjoyed cleaning or doing laundry or washing dishes but we can’t all love every part of our jobs can we?

    Nonetheless, she fit the gender role well. And she raised me to be a feminist because that’s what she was. She used her rights for birth control, voting, owning a house, and receiving child support while she established a career she didn’t have while married. My mom believed in equality and being allowed to do what you love even if it does or does not fit with others’ expectations.

    If anyone tells you there’s something wrong with being a housewife, then remind them you’re doing what you love and you’re not beholden to anyone else. But do please realize that a lot of other women have a hard time because they’re still not accepted in fields like engineering, politics, and aviation. It’s not so easy for them to do what they love.

  • Tora

    @Thae86:disqus @batwatch:disqus
    Soooooooooooo can I butt in for the fifth time now and ask why are you two putting words in each others’ mouths? Because you kind of are.

    I don’t think BatWatch understood what you meant by privilege and your one-liner didn’t help clarify in the least. Not that I’m disagreeing with your conclusion but we have an actual discusser on our hands and not a brick wall. Long explanatory sentences might get somewhere. Drive-bys not so much.

    BW said the suicide and nakedness are two separate issues which partially explains why he doesn’t understand the reactions. And yes, that is a bit of privilege there. But a lot of people just don’t know what that means even when they are a minority themselves. Low stigma consciousness and all that. Technically though, several did comment they were pissed over her nakedness… and that has nothing to do with immodesty and everything to do with sexualization. Of women. In comics. Again.

    But I slightly digress. I feel like I’m watching a knife and gun fight because you’re not on the same page. Is there where I should say “no offense” like an insincere jerk who can’t take the consequences…? ;)

    And John Scalzi is <3

  • Anonymous

    No to all three.

  • Anonymous

    “I don’t think BatWatch understood what you meant by privilege and your one-liner didn’t help clarify in the least. Not that I’m disagreeing with your conclusion but we have an actual discusser on our hands and not a brick wall. Long explanatory sentences might get somewhere. Drive-bys not so much.”

    It’s not my responsibility- every. single. time. it. happens.- to teach someone privilege. If they really want to learn, they will.

    “But I slightly digress. I feel like I’m watching a knife and gun fight because you’re not on the same page. Is there where I should say “no offense” like an insincere jerk who can’t take the consequences…? ;)”

    No.

  • Anonymous

    I’m a minority…I do not have the power you do. Therefore, I can’t be sexist. Can I hate men, and treat them differently due to the gender they identify by? Absolutely; though it will be in the environment and reality that hates MY gender (feminine) instead. So no, not sexist. Exclusive, and painful not only to the masculine gender but to me as well, if I theoretically harbored this hatred? Definitely. Also, you being a Libertarian explains a lot of your entitlement.

  • Anonymous

    (Edit) No.

  • heylook

    Honestly, it’s really, really shocking DC and Palmiotti had no idea about the possible issues in choosing this page. As soon as I heard about the contest, I went over to DC’s page, read the description, then forwarded the link to several friends with the line “How many different ways is this the wrong choice for an art contest?” One friend wrote back immediately with, “Remember when it was safe for kids to read comics?” Even knowing that they were going for an over-the-top cartoony tone (yes, Jimmy, it was clear w/the whale and chicken suit), it really was, A) a poor choice, B) a ridiculous page for an art contest, AND C) incredibly stupid of DC. But, let’s be clear, DC’s leadership has shown a complete and utter inability for empathy and normal human interaction in the past….or has nobody here ever met Geoff Johns or seen Dan Didio’s response to the Batwoman controversy (or read his atrocious writing for that matter!)?

  • Anonymous

    People either take things out of context, lack imagination or over-think.

    “Oh my god she’s underdressed and posed showing her boobs and butt. That’s so sexist~!”
    “Oh no, she’s gonna commit suicide how insensitive they are to suicide attempt victims.”
    “Oh no, She Hulk is beat up on the cover, why are they promoting violence against women?”
    “Oh shit, Pokemon promotes violence against animals! ”

    So there’s a hot girl posing with an acrobatic twist and some parts of her costume ripped up for fanservice. Tell me how is it that a lot of us guys can tolerate watching Gundam with all its feminized pretty boys and not write Sunrise that we’re goddamn offended? You know why? BECAUSE WE’RE NOT. Sure we care more about the robots, but really, we just accept that “Aw, hell they just threw in somethin’ fo’ the ladies, no biggie.” (And of course we can just joke about it).

    So what if some character decides to commit suicide? Suicide happens in real life, no one is telling you to do it. Also, black humor exists whether you like it or not. Ever watch a Tarantino film?

    So what if She Hulk gets beaten to a bloody pulp on some cover? Same shit happened to Spiderman. Same shit happened to Superman. Hell, Commissioner Jim Gordon was beaten to a bloody pulp by HIS OWN FATHER. What, we have to be very sensitive to these “activists” who at the same time clamor for “equality”?

    Pokemon? Dog fighting has been around since who knows how long. Not saying it’s right, but I think Pokemon is a better, cathartic alternative to actually throwing your poodle into a blood match with a pitbull.

    “FLUFFY USE PEE~ PEE IS SUPER EFFECT- WAIT. FLUFFY, NOOOOO~~ FLUFYYYYYYY D: “

  • Christopher Ridgers

    In regards to producing content, companies often find themselves offering apologies such as this. Many others don’t, as an example: Akita Shoen’s published Battle Royale manga series.

    Why do some companies get cornered into apologizing while others don’t?

    Nobody is forced to consume content they don’t like, they can take it or leave it as they please. Time spent apologizing is time not spent producing the content that their consumer base can enjoy.

  • nioncobra

    Green lantern is gay and Wonder Woman is Muslim. Hey, DC? Kill yourselves. I am now not fan of DC. Fuck em. This politically correct bullshit has gotta stop. It ruins everything. Don’t completely ruin an already existing super hero you fucks. Make up a new one and mess up them.

  • Keyser Soze

    I have no idea when the hell “National Suicide Awareness Week” is and i have no doubt that 99.99% of the rest of humanity does either.

    In fact, i would have serious concerns about anyone who DID know when that was just off the top of their head, unless they were actually working for some sort of suicide prevention organization.

  • Keyser Soze

    So art should be censored because it might cause someone to have a powerful emotional reaction to it? What are you, a Fascist?? Thats literally the entire PURPOSE of Art!

  • Keyser Soze

    This Art hereby censored by decree of Commandant Butthurt of the Central Feel-Feels Authority for Unlawful Evocation of Human Emotions