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What Boys Think of Girls

Warner Bros. Animation Takes Issue With Girls Watching Their Programs


Does it ever feel like Warner Bros. thinks girls are icky? Here’s a story that may lend credence to that theory. 

Writer/producer Paul Dini recently joined Kevin Smith on his Fatman on Batman podcast. They got on the topic of Dini’s work on Warner Bros. animated projects, which is vast, and discussed how the recently cancelled Cartoon Network series Young Justice was a lot like Dini’s work from 10-years ago (like Batman Beyond). It had storylines that went throughout the season and really built on top of each other. Dini went on to explain:

But then, there’s been this weird—there’s been a sudden trend in animation, with super-heroes. Like, ‘It’s too old. It’s too old for our audience, and it has to be younger. It has to be funnier.’ And that’s when I watch the first couple of episodes of Teen Titans Go!, it’s like those are the wacky moments in the Teen Titans cartoon, without any of the more serious moments. ‘And let’s just do them all fighting over pizza, or running around crazy and everything, ’cause our audience—the audience we wanna go after, is not the Young Justice audience any more. We wanna go after little kids, who are into—boys who are into goofy humor, goofy random humor, like on Adventure Time or Regular Show. We wanna do that goofy, that’s where we’re going for.’”

Dini goes on to mention how the Young Justice stories were much more teenager-oriented but the trend is to hit younger audiences with the newer shows. He said, “They’re all for the boys, we do not want the girls! I mean, I’ve heard executives say this, you know, not where I am but at other places, saying like, ‘We do not want girls watching these shows.” When Smith pointed out that was a strange move because, well, women are 51% of the population, Dini said, “They don’t buy toys. The girls buy different toys.”

True, most “girls” don’t buy “boy” toys and there’s a much longer history as to why that happens which I won’t bother delving into here, but as Smith next pointed out – aren’t there other merchandising options to make money from the “girls” market?

Smith: You can sell them T-shirts if they don’t—A: I disagree, I think girls buy toys as well, maybe not as many as fucking boys do, but, B: sell them something else, man! Don’t be lazy and be like, ‘well I can’t sell a girl a toy.’ Sell ‘em a t-shirt, man, sell them fucking umbrella with the fucking character on it, something like that. But if it’s not a toy, there’s something else you could sell ‘em! Like, just because you can’t figure out your job, don’t kill chances of, like, something that’s gonna reach an audi—that’s, it’s just so self-defeating, when people go, like… these are the same fuckers who go, like, ‘Oh, girls don’t read comics, girls aren’t into comics.’ It’s all self-fulfilling prophecies. They just make it that way, by going like, ‘I can’t sell ‘em a toy, what’s the point?’

Dini: That’s the thing, you know I hate being Mr. Sour Grapes here, but I’ll just lay it on the line: that’s the thing that got us cancelled on Tower Prep, honest-to-God was, it’s like, ‘we need boys, but we need girls right there, right one step behind the boys’—this is the network talking—’one step behind the boys, not as smart as the boys, not as interesting as boys, but right there.’ And then we began writing stories that got into the two girls’ back stories, and they were really interesting. And suddenly we had families and girls watching, and girls really became a big part of our audience, in sort of like they picked up that Harry Potter type of serialized way, which is what The Batman in boarding school [?] is really gonna kill. But, the Cartoon Network was saying, ‘Fuck no, we want the boys’ action, it’s boys’ action, this goofy boy humor we’ve gotta get that in there. And we can’t—’ and I’d say, but look at the numbers, we’ve got parents watching, with the families, and then when you break it down—’Yeah, but the—so many—we’ve got too many girls. We need more boys.’

SMITH: That’s heart-breaking.

To say the least.

We reached out for additional comments from Dini but he felt he’d had his say. To be sure, what else is there to say? “Girls don’t buy our toys so we don’t want too many of them watching our TV show” is a terrible outlook to have, not just as a human being but as someone trying to sell things to make a living. I also can’t help think this is an overall notion throughout the company considering the state of their live-action superhero properties. They don’t believe in women as a market even though they are constantly shown proof otherwise.

If you’d like to listen to just this portion of the podcast, HelpSaveOurHeroes.tumblr.com has an edit for you.

(via DC Women Kicking Ass, image via HDWallpaper)

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  • Philip Lopez

    This reminds me of when DC had their poll about favorite DC Nation Shorts and the highest rated ones were Super Best Friends Forever, Amethyst, and Thunder and Lightning. And we all know how successful those are now…

  • Ian Fay

    CN is speeding disastrously close to being put on my “never again” list right next to Syfy.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, if you do enough demographic gerrymandering then girls certainly don’t buy action figures or comics. They only buy dolls and manga. -_-

  • J Ritchey

    They lost me when they axed YJ (losing clone wars at the same time didn’t help). Seeing an episode of TTGo cemented it.

  • http://readingwatchinglookingandstuff.blogspot.com/ Janna

    Wow, sucks to see the industry this gendered and this mercenary. I mean, I guess we should know that’s always the case with big business, but it still sucks.

  • Simon Chui

    Did I read that right? A show got cancelled because it EXPANDED its audience? That’s the most special kind of business strategy I’ve seen in quite a while.

    On the flip side, Hasbro’s embracing the bronies. I’m sure the free market will figure out the winning strategy before long.

  • http://runt.org/ Adrian

    Hasbro’s example is simply further proof of mindless sexism. They make a show for girls (MLP), girls and boys like it, they support and include the boys because yay boys. They make a show for boys (Young Justice), girls and boys like it, they cancel the show and run away as fast as they can because ew girls.

  • Becky Cunningham

    Man. Reading about the comics/cartoon world on this site makes me feel better about the world of video games… and that’s certainly not because the video game industry is super-enlightened when it comes to gender.

  • http://readingwatchinglookingandstuff.blogspot.com/ Janna

    I thought women only bought shoes?

  • http://readingwatchinglookingandstuff.blogspot.com/ Janna

    One of my fav silly blogs is Teavenger, where this woman photographs her superhero action figures partaking in travel, gardening, and tea-brewing: http://teavenger.tumblr.com/

  • http://pontoonification.blogspot.com/ AverageDrafter

    Is this CN or WB saying this or both? BTW, Time Warner, your moronic corporate philosophies are starting to wear me down to really, really detest everything you do.

    Its really, REALLY stupid to limit your audience this way and only focus on the market you THINK you want, when you could be… I don’t know… expanding your brand so that in 10-15 years you still have women who are just as excited about Iron Man 6 as their brothers, husbands, and sons.

    Exclusion for the sake of exclusion is probably the most myopically idiotic marketing strategy I’ve ever heard of, particularly when inclusion doesn’t HURT YOUR BRAND IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM…

    I need to lie down, I’m going home now.

  • Charlie

    The ironic thing is Adventure Time has some great female characters and Regular Show is basically set in the 1980′s and has references only older people would get. I don’t understand their logic here

  • Charlie

    Can you imagine if they cancelled My Little Pony because they ‘didn’t want a male audience’

  • Sara

    Sup idiot at WB….tell me why I bought a shelf solely to display my Avenger Legos and my figurines? Hell…I grew up LOVING Batman the animated series, that was my childhood. We played Batman and Power Rangers on the playground, us GIRLS.

  • http://cosmicglider.co/ Tanisha W

    I don’t think it’s logic they’re using.

  • http://cosmicglider.co/ Tanisha W

    I don’t think it’s logic they’re using.

  • http://cosmicglider.co/ Tanisha W

    Lol, interesting perspective.

  • Gerald Kirby

    *sigh* Ever read one of those stories that makes you just want to go back to bed?

  • Anonymous

    I feel like calling this sexism doesn’t even begin to cover what’s wrong with that thinking. Because it’s sexist, some people could make the misguided assumption that this is a case of business vs. morality.

    For the sake of the argument, let’s be the devil’s advocate here: if you invest money into something, it would be understandable if you decided to prioritize getting your money back over doing “the right thing”. It would also be understandable that when people who never invest a penny in anything are criticizing your choices, that you would chose to give them a deaf hear. That would be understandable, but with that being said…

    What kind of business is that????

    You make TV shows and you don’t want a wider audience? What the hell? Like Kevin Smith was saying, it looks like they didn’t even try to make this work! This goes further than people having prejudice: these people just have no clue how to do their job!

  • Elias Algorithm

    I still need my Adventure Time fix, but yeah, I’m right there with ya.

  • Elias Algorithm

    Especially in an age where it’s going to get out. It ALWAYS gets out. You can’t keep a secret these days unless you’re really very very shrewd about it and shrewdness is not a quality Warner or CN possesses.

    You see this kind of behavior in banking executives and politicians.

  • Amanda Gillispie

    See, they confuse “not buying toys” with “being VERY picky about the toys we do buy”, at least in my case – and it’s been that way my whole life. Everyone that’s been geek-shopping with me has experienced this pickiness firsthand when I’m perusing available lady action figures to consider purchasing (which are few and far between… but I have standards). Awful facial sculpt, or sculpt in general, awful pose, too little clothing, INCREDIBLY exaggerated unrealistic proportions (especially in particular areas), a general lack of power or authority in their pose, all of those are deal-breakers for me.

  • Nicole Elizabeth Currie

    Head, meet desk.

  • Anonymous

    I’m so confused about the idea that there can be “too many girls watching.” I mean, is market share a zero-sum game? Like, more girls = fewer boys? How does that make sense? Why can’t there be more girls AND more boys?

    Insulting, ridiculous, and stupid.

  • Anonymous

    So remember all the hoopla Disney got for naming their movies Tangled (instead of Rapunzel), Brave (instead of BAMF Scottish Princess), and Frozen (instead of the Ice Queen)? You see Disney said, “Yes, we want everyone’s money”. So they made it happen, and the parents of girls AND boys practically threw money at them by buying up all of the movie merchandise.

    I don’t get how you can sit in a business meeting and say, “Wait, our target demographic AND some other demographc likes our stuff. Nope, nope, not having it. This product must go.” That’s the dumbest, most short-sighted business plan I’ve ever heard of.

    And also, let’s put aside the fact that women make up 51% of the population and instead consider the fact the buying power of young girls in this country is insanely high. If WB/DC is too stupid to tap into that market, then that’s their problem. Disney (along with Marvel) will just keep laughing all the way to the bank.

  • Anonymous

    my male feet…so cold!

  • Anonymous

    I loved Tower Prep. And that it was canceled because too much of the audience were girls and families… That makes me angry.
    Don’t get me wrong, I loved Young Justice as well, but it was too well done to really last that long.

  • Anonymous

    They’re idiots.

    Idiots.

    Idiots, idiots, idiots.

  • Ashe

    Won’t lie, I’d probably laugh.

  • Ashe

    Shoes with dolls and cooking utensils inside them.

  • Anonymous

    I shouldn’t read articles like this one because they make me so angry. It’s just not justified to treat half of your potential audience like that. I hope the next generation of decision-makers in Hollywood grows up quickly and makes smarter decisions.

  • Anonymous

    I worry that conventional wisdom on these things might trickle down to the next generation, especially if they’re raised on shows that specifically aim to exclude girls.

  • Stewart Zoot Wymer

    First thing, kudos for Kevin Smith nailing the issue – it really is a self-fulfilling prophecy. I think also the WB folk think that if they open one aspect to girls they’ll somehow lose their entire boy market in one fell swoop. It doesn’t work like that. It comes about because people seem to still think “This is for girls, this is for boys” Why can’t a girl be interested in something that marketing execs have specifically aimed at boys? Why can’t she have different tastes that cross over?

    Was talking to a mate about video games and women, and he said “No woman wants to play a video game about war.” and I accused him of being narrow-minded – some women want to play war shooters even with alternatives available, because they like war games, they may like blood, they may like guns. We can have content that spreads over all genders without sacrificing content to specifically make it seem to be one gender but to be true to the ideas and content we wish to portray. As a result with merchandising, we can offer things which can appeal to all who could conceivably be interested in something, which the article indicates is not gender-applicable but age.

  • Ashe

    I knew it!

    Girl cooties are so expansive and so potent that our mere WATCHING a show designated for boys can send executives scrambling to take it off the air, lest our female wiles seep through the glass, filter through the wires, and infect impressionable young men everywhere with thoughts of baking, shopping and feminism.

    In other news, expanding your audience and making more money is a bad business strategy. Don’t do it!

  • eric bouchard

    Well…that explains Teen Titans Go. But it confuses me. What are girls suppose to do while boys watch the CN?…Bake cookies? Do dishes? Bring the boys a beer?

  • http://www.twitter.com/invalidname realinvalidname

    I do kind of feel like this may be self-serving of Dini to co-opt gender bias to get people mad about his show’s cancellation; I’d be less suspicious if he’d gotten in a word of support for Super Best Friends Forever or Amythest: Princess of Gemworld. I didn’t watch YJ, but my tweeps who did — most of whom were female IIRC — just plain didn’t like the show, particularly its second season.

    Oh well, I guess we can always watch more anime.

  • Nigel Bradley

    They should just put Kevin Smith and Paul Dini together, give them a studio, and say “Produce something brilliant.” Forget demographics, forget polls, forget all that stupid market research. People like it, ergo, it will make money.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nuuni.nuunani Nuuni Nuunani

    Umm, Im a bit confused. How does ‘they canceled Batman Beyond and Young Justice’ equal ‘we don’t want female viewers’? Reading the article, im just not grasping any of the connections their trying to draw. Batman Beyond didn’t really do anything to peerticularly draw in a female audience, and the only thing it really had in common with Young Justice was the darker tone.
    Then he goes on about Teen Titans Go and talking about how it is specifically aimed at boys…How specifically? I mean sure it has childish humor, but unlike Batman Beyond, two of the central protagonists are girls and half the time their the ones stealing the show.

    Reading this I would swear that they were trying to complain about serious mature action shows not being liked by networks over comedy (because both Batman Beyond and Young Justice were cancelled because their respective networks preferred comedy based programming over serious action) and started ad libbing it with gender issues.
    Especially since Young Justice’s cancellation was specifically Cartoon Networks decision rather than DC’s. Frequent push backs of already completed episodes, stretching out episodes across years and other messness allowed the network to claim rating drops for the show. Its not a new tactic for them and it is being done to the new batman cartoon just as it was done to green lantern. This is a network that went out of its way to get rid of toonami and take action cartoons with a critical eye in favor of comedy, which is sad, but totally their decision (though things like that make me wish that warner would make a separate channel for more serious animations.)

    This ridiculous case suggests that only girls like serious ongoing storylines while only boys like comedic shorts. A theory that is thoroughly ridiculous stereotyping that pretends that teen titans go only has male fans and claims that his batman beyond was entirely made up of female viewers.

    More likely, the issue is that cartoon networks are interested in younger audiences and believe that they prefer comedy over serious and captivating storylines. Which is an entirely different matter of ridiculous.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nuuni.nuunani Nuuni Nuunani

    I wish he took it as well as Weisman who was campaigning for fans to buy up as many copies of the young justice videogame as they can to show cartoon network how much fans are willing to invest into the series.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nuuni.nuunani Nuuni Nuunani

    Don’t forget, fourth place went to a reimagining of Batman that reinvented Batman as a chinese demon in Shanghai with a badass asian Catwoman.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Did you read the whole transcript? Because it gives a bigger picture of the “how is this related to that.”

    I don’t think they were suggesting that only girls like serious ongoing stories. Firstly, though, it was TPTB (not Dini or The Mary Sue, but the folks calling the shots) who say that they want the comedic shorts to appeal to boys, because that’s what TPTB think boys want most.
    Secondly, I don’t think the point was that only girls were watching those shows. It was that A LOT of girls were watching those shows. And again, TPTB would tell Dini that it was a bad sign for their market.

    Loathe as I am to bring up bronies, it’s basically the polar opposite of what Hasbro did. When Hasbro discovered that their show had appeal to a drastically different demographic than their target, the still kept the show aimed at their target demo, and with all the age-appropriate merchandise, but they also created merchandise for older fans as well. DC/Warner Bros went the opposite route.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Pink dollars don’t spend, my friend.

  • Laura Truxillo

    “No woman wants to play a video game about war.”

    You should introduce him to the TF2 fanbase. Heck, the person drawing their primary comics is a woman.

    For that matter, even without female playable characters, TF2 has done a swell job of not alienating female gamers.

  • Kastel

    Funnily enough, in France Tangled was called “Raiponce” (Rapunzel in
    French), Frozen is “La Reine des Neiges” (The Ice Queen) and Brave was translated as “Rebelle”. I don’t know if it was because the US titles don’t sound catchy at all when translated (they don’t) or because Disney France thought the audience should know the first two are actually based on old fairytales. Whatever the actual reason, I like the way we have it here. :)

  • Stewart Zoot Wymer

    Too right, Laura. My girlfriend is a big wargamer and loves military games – she also, on the other hand, likes playing dress-up in MMOs and tries to make her XCOM squad look amazing. I think that people are assigning various attitudes and desires to women who have not been consulted. The whole purpose I feel in feminism is giving women choices. Some women may want to play a baking simulator, other women may want to shoot rockets at people’s heads and run through the gore – no one should have the right to tell women (or men, for that matter) what they should enjoy and what they should like. Devs need to stop focusing on making a game for women or a game for men and just make a good game that everyone can enjoy of that genre, rather than focusing on a gender demographic or throwing in “tokens” to cater to the other side (which I think is just insulting)

  • http://www.facebook.com/nuuni.nuunani Nuuni Nuunani

    Ah yes, thee claim that the studio specifically said ‘f*** no, we dont want female viewers, cancel that show’ I admit I wont listen to the podcast as I have little interest in such things but I somehow doubt that is exactly what studio executives said.

    Especially since Young Justice wasn’t exactly pulling in as many fans during its second season as it was in its first (Which is bizarrely the case of every show Greg Weisman has handled…Gargoyles, Young Justice, W.I.T.C.H, spectacular spiderman…) and even Batman the animated series which is touted as one of the greatest animations died after two seasons (to be brought back in an attempted third season and again dropped)

    Is there any actual evidence that bias against serious action shows has anything to do with gender demographics?

  • Anonymous

    No it’s intentional on Disney’s part. Here’s a link about it if you want to check it out: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/09/business/la-fi-ct-disney9-2010mar09

    Short version: they thought the fact that The Princess and the Frog had the word princess in the title caused them to lose revenue from the XY crowd, so for Tangled, they wrote Flynn Rider as a lead and not secondary character and they gave it a gender neutral name. They also did a lot of advertisements highlighting Flynn Rider so that young boys would be interested in the movie.

    And your comment makes me want to visit France that much more.

  • Anonymous

    I think the point made is that when the networks see that shows aimed at a young male demographic are doing well with young females, they’re unhappy about it and want to make changes to what they know (or think) sells well to young males and NOT to young females.

    What I think is more interesting is the attitude that networks don’t want to tell stories that draw a female audience. Whether the stories they want to tell actually do draw a female (or otherwise-gendered) audience, regardless of intent, the networks are making a concerted effort to exclude that non-boy demographic from their audience.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nuuni.nuunani Nuuni Nuunani

    Except that Cartoon Network has okayed a new powerpuff girls and an adventure time spinoff staring fiona and cake…

    Could you explain what changes networks make to shows that ‘draw in mixed audiences’? Because following Weisman the showrunner of Young Justice, the only complaints he voiced about Cartoon Network was 1. being forbidden to use rocket and icon 2. being given a stern no about including LGBT issues and 3. the scheduling headaches.

    Admittedly, perhaps there are other things I am not aware of though, in which case I would love for you to clarify on the matter.

  • locuas

    …………let’s…let’s forget the sexism for a minute, okay? and let’s point out to the other big problem with the “girls don’t buy toys” statement: the people at warner bros. are incapable of taking advantage of their female audience. i mean, my god, make some wolf plushie dolls(i would buy ten of those), make M’gan plastic jewelry. haven’t you heard of “if life gives you lemon, make lemonade”? do SOMETHING! by this logic, if life gives you lemons, then you should cut the tree and, in it’s place, plant the seeds of another tree.

  • Anonymous

    This is unfortunately not just WB as well. I talked about it recently but I’m going to assume this is why each of Marvel’s three current cartoons only have one woman. And even the prior Avengers show only had one female hero until the second season, and by the end there were a whopping two women on the team and like 7-8 dudes.

    And I laugh (and cry at this) because while WB and Marvel are sitting here trying to ensure just boys watch their cartoons and buy their stuff, Toei over in Japan is STILL making a fortune off Sailor Moon close to 20 years later.

  • demoncat_4

    so certain shows got the ax because they were expanding their audience proving that both boys and girls may oh no like the same thing. yet warners seems to not have a fit about bronies yet. guess this means no wonder woman or any dc female getting a movie or animate series in the future

  • Anonymous

    I’ve seen this a lot with foreign language titles for American movies as well. Japan has some of the most awesome titles for disney movies. So this probably an American cultural problem then.

  • Anonymous

    It would’ve been more apt to reference “Beware the Batman” which was yanked from the schedule 2 episodes before the end of the first season storyarc & featured Katana as Batman’s protege instead of Robin.

  • Anonymous

    This is also why we can’t have Legend of Korra action figures.

  • Anonymous

    When I was younger I always felt self conscious about being a girl and
    liking boy things, so I asked my mom one day ‘Would you have rather had
    boys than girls?” and then my mother said the most supportive thing to me concerning my gender,
    “Why? I would rather have girls who like boy things. Its just the same.”
    And then for the next few years I loved being a tom boy. (up until high
    school of course but you know that’s another sort of hell that everyone has their own way of coping through.)
    So I played with boy’s Actions figures AND girl’s toys. I only played with the plastic girl’s toys, not the barbie toys because I hated their hair getting into everything. Shall I regale you the story of Mulan on Jurassic Park and how she and Malcolm fought their way through the Raptor nest? Or how Pochaontas and Esmeralda were actually sisters and also Jedi and had to join together with Han Solo and fight Emperor Palpatine? No? I made an awesome Jedi cloak for Pocahontas out of black fabric. Kids have awesome imaginations, you can’t tell what they will think up. This whole ‘gendering’ of what girls and boys play with is ridiculous and actually stifles children’s imaginations. Making a certain character ‘Girl’s toy only’ and another character ‘Boy’s toy only’ hurts kids ability to see these characters as equal.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nuuni.nuunani Nuuni Nuunani

    Beware the batman! Thank you! I couldn’t for the life of me remember the title of that show.
    It was an odd one for me because at first I loathed the art style and felt baffled that they used Katana instead of Cain, but I found it growing on me after a few episodes.

    Yeah, generally action themed cartoons don’t last more than two seasons and tend to get closer scrutiny than comedys, but for some baffling reason Cartoon Network really has it out for the genre. (as opposed to Teen Titans Go which completed its season on schedule)

    Its really odd the stigma against actiony shows. Adventure time for example has ongoing story arcs and action sequences but it was sold to the network as a comedy so the network approves it. (Every episode preview will feature something goofy over something serious to name some evidence of this.)
    The previous Teen Titans cartoon though had more comedy than Adventure time and managed to be a lighter show alot of the time but since it was sold as an action series, it got the boot after a couple seasons.

    This whole mess with Beware the Batman is plain depressing and WB really needs to find them a new home.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nuuni.nuunani Nuuni Nuunani

    On that note, I would buy a whole set if they were to make a plushie collection of the team.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nuuni.nuunani Nuuni Nuunani

    It should be pointed out that japanese animation in general has been more open about such things with its audiences and didn’t play so choosily. The creator of the very first mecha anime, Mazinger Z, was also the creator of Cutie Honey, a heroine from the 80s on a quest to avenge her murdered father.

    For a more modern reference, the makers of Gurren Lagaan are also the creators of Kill La Kill.

    As a side note though, Wasp really stole the show in Avengers. ^^

  • Skol Troll

    Beth, you and my daughter will be rocking the same toy on Christmas Day. I’ll just have to make a point of that, somehow. And as a boy, I’ll be jealous of both of you.

  • Skol Troll

    Maybe I’m just a dumb parent. But I’m GLAD they make dorky dumb-joke shows like Teen Titans. It gives my girls something to watch that I don’t have to worry about (i.e. violence to the < 7 crowd).

    Oh, did you notice that, WB??? GIRLS LIKE DUMB HUMOR TOO!!! It's not from gender, it's from genetics. ;-)

    Anyway, I guess I just feel lucky. I've got a princess lover who not-so-secretly loves superheros, and a superhero lover who not-so-secretly loves princesses. And I get to play in ALL the toy aisles.

    So suck on that, WB. Oh, and Kevin Smith is awesome.

  • Skol Troll

    I hope my girls become as awesome as you! And your mom was spot-on!

  • Anonymous

    As a female comic fan and avid toy collector, I will say MAYBE if their toys didn’t look like SHIT so often, some of us [I speak for myself] would buy them.

    Smith also has a point, make some more merchandise. I would LOVE a Batman umbrella that was shaped like the cowl. THINK ABOUT IT

    I’m very disappointed in you, Warner Bros. Shame shame.

  • Jessy Southard Strohmeyer

    Just one more reason to push Marvel over DC for my son…

  • Alexa

    Ok does WB not believe in the concept of individual tastes and what not, which is something that extends to both genders. Like why is it such a hard thing to understand that girls would watch superhero shows, and its also kind of insulting to boys with them thinking that boys would *only* be interested in shows that are wacky and comedic like Teen Titans Go! and not complex with over arching story lines like Young Justice. I hate to break it to them but I watched Batman: The animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series all the frigging time when I was kid, and I loved it. And yes I would also watch shows like Sailor Moon and play with Barbies, and watch Disney Princess movies, but again I would watch Superman and Batman and play video games with my brothers. Sure I never had a desire for action figures but I still bought other stuff like a Catwoman key chain from the animated series that I still have to this day. This mentality is completely and utterly bunk. Its unfair to girls and all they’re doing is making things way too complex then it needs to be. Girls and boys can like the same things, get over it.

  • D.A.V.E.

    Marvel’s cartoons have been horrible, though.

  • D.A.V.E.

    Does anyone find it funny how the ONE Batman show to actually be cut short and “fail” is the one with a POC woman as a main character?

    Hmm…

  • Madeleine Odowichuk

    I remember the Scholastic magazine colour-coding special book bundles in the back. Babysitter’s Club was pink and clearly meant for girls, Animorphs was blue and targeted at boys. What’s weird about that is that the series itself isn’t by any means male-exclusive (Cassie and Rachel both rocked), but because it had action and aliens in it, people automatically marketed it only at boys.

  • Gary Keyes

    Warners/DC they don’t believe in marketing to Women or Girls…why? Because they’re idiots. I mean, my God, what are you saying to little girls, teenage and adult women? That you matter less? You’re not as smart as boys? Don’t any executive at either Warners Motion Picture, Animation and DC have any children who are girls?
    How do those fuckers sleep at night? I would feel like scum…my little girl is not as smart as a boy? And who the hell runs a modern company this way? It’s beyond shocking! That’s way they didn’t have the “balls” to produce a Wonder Woman stand alone film–no she’s an “after thought”–you can hear them saying at a board meeting with Snyder and Nolan–’oh yeah, and let’s add Wonder Woman, too–maybe she can flirt up with Henry or Ben!’ Shocking! I’m watching Marvel too! I want to see more female characters (live action film, TV and animation) in stand alone productions–especially Women of Color too! Fuck, guys–it’s the 21st Century already!

  • NickN

    And they are following the exact same process as DC’s cartoons on cartoon network. They replaced Earth’s Mightiest Heroes with Avengers Assemble and Ultimate Spider-Man — both of which are aimed at younger boys.

  • Gregory Williams

    Both Green Lantern and Young Justice were excellent animated fare and they attracted adults as well as teenagers specifically because they had more meat in their story lines … all too often corporations look at animation as a “little” kids market ignoring the tried and true formula that successful animation shows/movies try to reach adults as well as kids.

    Just like in SF&F if you want good product offerings leave it up to the professionals and stop letting the NEWLY hired guys, who (more often than not) just about ran the previous company he/they/she worked for into the ground, make decisions about things and genres they know nothing about … the entertainment industry should not follow the standard corporate model of rewarding failure with promotion and riches.

  • Anonymous

    I loved both Babysitter’s Club and Animorphs, when I was younger. I was a voracious reader, so I never stuck to the gender lines, but it makes me sad to think that some kids probably did.

  • Anonymous

    Okay, I think the confusion here is in how marketing works. Marketing execs are loathe to reach too large an audience. Target a single demographic, say, boys ages 7-12, and it’s easy to attempt to tailor make a product they’ll like. But they feel targeting a market to too many people muddies the waters and will result in lost sales. This was not covered in the article, but IS how most marketing works. Go look it up.

    Another fact is that almost every business out there will make a marketing decision often even before they make a product. The reason you were sold, say, Twilight while better written and more intelligent books were passed over was because some marketing exec read it and said “Yes, whe can market the ever loving sh*t out of this.” Had he said no, Twilight would never even have made it to print. It also means that some amazing talents are never brought to us because they have no idea how to package the book.

    And it’s not just books. This is how it works for everything from the doodads you buy at Wal-Mart to the video games you play to the gas that you buy. Even most movies are heavily slanted to sell certain products, be it action figures or cars or something else. In fact, some are simply two hour long ads. No joke. These days marketing execs have unprecedented power.

    This is also why we have “girl’s” toys and “boy’s” toys, men’s and women’s beauty products (often the only difference is the packaging and maybe the scent), why all things girl are pink, and why there’s been a resurgence of males and females being aggressively segregated into gender norms that had started to shift and die out way back in the sixties. It’s easier to sell if you assume all girls like cooking a baby dolls, and because all the commercials for toy ovens and dollies show only girls loving pink domestic toys and because all the girl toys are color-coded pink, little girls fall in line and think that’s what they SHOULD like. Parents do too, and are often afraid to buy a boy a doll or a girl an action figure because they also pick up on the gender roles pushed in the marketing.

    So does everyone else–ever see an adult make fun of a boy with a doll or talk in hushed and concerned tones about a tomboyish girl? Because it happens all the time, and that social pressure also shapes us, and what we’ll buy, and what we buy for our kids. And we LEARN these norms–from a young age–from media such as TV that teaches us how males and females work. Like the TV exec demanding that girls always be second fiddle to and less interesting than boys, or a slew of girl toys pushing domestic products. And a whole new generation follows these same gender norms, because they grew up watching them on a TV run by marketing execs who present them that way just so they can sell more product.

    It’s insane.

    In this particular case, the marketing execs wanted to aim the cartoon at young boys. That is a tightly controlled, predictable market. But then girls wanted to see it which, for a marketing exec, pretty much means the beginning of the end for their ability to properly market their product. GOOD marketing execs will run with it, as the oft cited Hasboro and MLP cartoon did. BAD ones will kill the market rather than lose control of it. After all, they can always make another boy’s cartoon, right?

    But “BAD” can have many reasons. It could mean they got bad schooling and are working from bad info on how markets work. It could mean they’re just really bad at their job. But yes, it can also mean they are misogynistic butt-clowns.

    This could be an age group thing–they could be part of the “old white men” guard that is also plaguing video games (video producers have flat said they refuse to make games with female protagonists, barring a few retro popular ones like Laura Croft), book publishing (go look up “SFF, sexism” and peruse the articles, it’s eye opening), western comic books (again, google “comic books” and “sexism” and enjoy), and other creative venues. These guys remember the days when women were second fiddle, when workplace harassment was considered “harmless flirting,” and having just a single female in their midst meant they had earned kudos as card carrying progressives, no matter how they treated her.

    Or it could be a younger guard thing–that’s a problem too, that the old guard is hiring people who have mindsets like their own, therefore propogating the cycle. And people NOT of that mindset, including women, leave or are squeezed out or can only hold lower level jobs because they don’t come across as “team players.” And often women’s voices get silenced on threat of their careers. It isn’t right, but it definitely happens.

    Or it could be an “all boys’ club” thing, where there’s so many swinging genitalia in a room, so many like minds and similar life experiences that they simply don’t think outside their narrow views. And yes, I think an “all womens’ club” or “all white peoples’” club or all WHATEVER club would have the same issues.

    Or, it could be a combination of several of the above scenarios, and often is.

    But yes, professionals can and WILL happily lose money when they get backed into a misogynistic position, whether they get there by happenstance (who are we marketing to?), prejudice (no girls allowed), thoughtlessness (all the boys I know think girls act this way so it must be true) or some unholy combination of all of the above. And for some it’s truly just a point of pride, profit be d*mned.

    Let me give you a crazy-but-true real world example. You know those corporations that pay no taxes? Did you know that, even after their generous refunds, some of these companies actually LOSE more money in the pursuit of not paying their taxes than they would have if they’d simply shelled out their fair share? Sometimes, in the real world, profit is NOT the overriding motivation. Sometimes, something else seems more important, like being clever on principle, or making sure the girls play in their own d*mned treehouse.

    You also can’t mistake one product for another. Yes, a network CAN be misogynistic and STILL sell something to little girls. And the marketing execs will be happy about that because, once again, they’ll be able to narrowly target their product. That doesn’t mean that the product they sell won’t also be sexist. We can’t know until we see these offerings, but I have to say, most of the cartoons I’ve seen, regardless of network, haven’t done well by little girls.

    The thing about the interview above is that the person who works DIRECTLY on these creative projects and in the industry said, quite baldly, that those in charge are demanding girl characters play second fiddle and be less interesting than boys. They also flat out ADMITTED they were shutting down a project because the audience had become too diverse. The things you wanted to know about going on behind the scenes? This entire article, his entire statement is all about pulling back that curtain. Yes, there may have been other factors involved (and this is suspect, since they may have been lying; the truth obviously didn’t go over very well and they had to know that would be the case), but at the end of the day what cemented their decision was that little girls were getting their girl cooties all over their boy product; nothing more, and nothing less.

    And honestly, I don’t care WHY it’s happening, it’s a problem. It’s a problem across industries, and one that spans well outside of geek culture (but seems especially prevalent within it), and it needs to stop.

  • Anonymous

    I really hope you write a blog. That’s an article in itself. Well explained!

  • http://www.facebook.com/nuuni.nuunani Nuuni Nuunani

    THANK YOU! That was very well thought out and I didn’t get any of that from the transcripts above. I really appreciate you explaining that to me in such an amazing manner.

    But gah…That is such a broken logic…Shows aimed at overly narrow demographics tend to snuff out after a couple seasons would easily lose that target demographic once they aged out of that demographic, nevermind the possibility of a more diversive one…That would explain though how my little pony is able to enjoy its fourth season while shows like Gargoyles would meet an abrupt end…(Your protagonist is a noble well muscled shirtless dude wearing only a loincloth. of course your going to get a mixed audience!)

    Though with that context, I find it interesting that one of the most successful toy companies in the world is more progressive in such things than the likes of Cartoon Network.

    Im sorry to bug you with more questions but you seem so versed on such matters…What sexism are you referring regarding the SFF community? I know the book covers can be rather eye rolling and that some authors can be really really…Old fashioned *fights the urge to name names* but for the most part, I don’t see any real issues in that sector. The number of female authors is about the same as male authors and how well a book is recieved (as far as I know) has nothing to do with gender. Mercedes Lackey, Diana Wynn Jones, Yu Wo and Suzanne Collins are amazingly terrific authors with ginormous fanbases of mixed genders whose works are enjoyed by a wide diverse crowd.

    As large as the literary community is and given the long history of female authors, I was given to believe it was one of the creative branches that was largely devoid of such attitudes.

  • Engler Pascal

    Spectacular spiderman was quite good imho.

  • locuas

    me too, but i am a guy, so they expect me to do it, it seems xD.

  • locuas

    god bless the bronies, then.

  • Vech2008

    So the idea here was, if girls in the show are equal to boys(not less smart and less interesting) and they get their stories told as well instead of just be there, surrounding the boys then the boys won’t want to watch the show and buy the toys any more. Here’s a thought, suits who probably know nothing about real boys and girls you just see them as numbers and demographics, girls do buy all kinds of toys and can buy into the kinds of toys you’re selling if you market it to them. As for boys, they are not as stupid as you think, my students loved brave and hoodwinked as much as they liked ice age and lion king. If the story is good boys and girls will have fun watching it and buy your precious toys.

  • http://ptwor.com/ Jay Salinas

    I will say I love Teen Titans Go!, but I never got a chance to see Young Justice. So in that sense I wouldn’t trade it out. But my wife got into the show, and fell in love with Raven. She said something along the lines of, “I wish I could get more of her,” and coincidentally they were showing the original Teen Titans on Boomerang. It just happened to be about Slade and Raven and she was sold on that version. She asked why they didn’t show this one and I explained that the show was about a decade old. I only bring this up because my wife isn’t very big on cartoons and then she went and bought our kid the Tiny Titans graphic novels. Now I’m trying to track down some old Teen Titan titles for her.

  • Anonymous

    My friends and I have considered this and the best we can come up with is panicked brand protection. Not only do they no want girl viewers, they also don’t want to be seen as the kind of show girls would like in the first place for fear that if it gets out, boys will stop watching because cooties. There’s a fear that boys on the playground will sit around the kool-aide kooler, saying, “Well of course I don’t watch that show, it’s for girls.”

  • Anonymous

    This is frustrating but it grows out of these shows existing to sell toys. Especially on these dedicated animated channels, in ways that more generalized channels don’t have to worry about. Particularly frustrating is that an expanded audience is a bad thing for
    these shows. They’re hyper focused on marketing to very specific
    demographics so you lose your “built in” advertisers who don’t feel the
    show is doing enough for their products and potential advertisers want
    something hyper focused on their target demographic – so they pass.
    that said there is the toy manufacturers point of view
    Girls mature faster than boys… generally. Part of maturing is being able to make comparisons and recognize qualities for making distinctions (aka mature decision making). True for products as well as other things. This makes boys better target consumers than girls who are more likely to reject cheaply made or flashily marketed products… generally. It’s also a built in rationalization for not making products for girls at all. Why bother when boys are happy with anything.

    Marketing and Statistics: For when all you need to be is right enough of the time to turn a profit.

  • locuas

    to be fair, japan has the “moe” fans…that being said, the pretty cure franchise, despite having little girls as one of their primary demographic, STILL has as much action(and i do mean action, heartcatch precure was bassically proto-Saint seiya omega!) as young justice, if not more, AND it is one of toei’s big franchises alongside Kamen Rider and Super Sentai(and that is considering TOei, and japan in general, still have customs that could be seen as sexist from the western perspective)

  • Saraquill

    I frequently played the Purple Ranger, since the official female Rangers were often claimed by the time I arrived. There are so many colors and dinosaurs that creating a new character on the spot was simple.

  • Saraquill

    Stop existing.

  • Anthony Dean

    Odd… Warner Bros. Animation’s first modern (and highly successful) show was “Tiny Toon Adventures,” a series with wacky humor *and* with a female as one of its two main stars, Babs Bunny…

  • Diaspora

    Shoes FOR their dolls and cooking utensils. And they must be pink and come with pretend lipstick!

  • Diaspora

    What gender is Goosebumps written for? Those were awesome but I was never allowed to get them because they were ‘too scary’.

  • Diaspora

    Clean, do their makeup and be sexually-available.

  • D.A.V.E.

    Sony made that, though, and it was before the Loeb regime.

  • Anonymous

    Wow. Well, if they want to turn off the girl market then they’re doing a shitty job of it. On of my girls loves Adventure Time (haven’t seen it, but from what I’ve been told it reminds me of early 90′s Nick stuff), so we got her a Finn hat for Christmas. The other watches a -wide- variety of shows, from Teen Titans Go, to the rest of the DCAU. For the latter it was/is a royal struggle to find reasonably priced superhero merch. I’m not even talking about action figures, I’m just talking about shoes (I’ve only ever been able to find Converse with her fave lady superheros, and those are 40-60 USD). Clothes. It’s not fair that she should have to comprmise (or for me spend twice as much) on what she likes just because assholes won’t even try to market to her.
    If I can go to Payless and buy Batman or GL sneakers, why the hells can’t I get Wonder Woman sneakers?
    There’s a lot of stuff that doesn’t bother me, because I don’t personally see boys and girls toys (I wasn’t raised that way, my parents never tried to sway me from a type of toy because it was for “boys”. Heck, I even had a TMNT nightgown. With hearts on it.), but this shit does.
    And both genders like fucking content. At the risk of sounding old, back in my day both boys and girls enjoyed TMNT, X:Men, Batman:TAS, and Spider-Man. Guess what? They all had quality story-lines without being goofy all the time.
    Say what you will about Disney, but they want ALL the money, not just the “girl” money.

  • Charlie

    Hello Kitty. Those two words are the only ones I need to shoot your argument out of the sky. They sell all sorts of stuff (like almost everything) to young women and make a fortune at extremely varying levels of quality.

  • Charlie

    I’m a 30 year old woman and I love Adventure Time (Marcelline <3) and Regular Show. I mean Regular Show has an episode where they go on a road trip to win a Nintendo Power Glove for heavens sake. How could you not like it.

    Also are they completely forgetting Fionna and Cake? And how INCREDIBLY popular that AU is with women and girls.

  • Anonymous

    “Hm.This show’s doing really well in every demographic, lets cancel it!”

    What type of drugs are these people on?

  • Anonymous

    Ok, I’m only a year older that you, is it just me or have things gotten more divided between “boy” stuff and “girl” stuff? I really don’t remember things so divided when I was a kid. I wonder if this is the fault of parents who had kids in the mid-late 90′s? I remember the trailer for The Little Mermaid. It made it seem as if it was an action movie. Boys and girls went with glee to the movie. WTF has happened?

  • Jessy Southard Strohmeyer

    I’ve found the quality of the cartoons (the ones I’ve watched) to be pretty even between both companies, but Marvel live action trumps DC by far. And Marvel isn’t actively trying to prevent female fans, so…

  • Charlie

    I agree, I don’t know whether it’s just childish naivety or what but I feel like kids and adults are a lot more judgmental now than they used to be.
    I too feel like it was the mid 90′s when this shift happened. I remember them changing the look of a computer magazine called CVG from bright and gender neutral to being covered with half naked women. When people complained they said ‘We don’t care we are catering to our demographic’ Of course I then felt awkward buying it being a straight teen-aged girl so I stopped. It’s like a self fulfilling prophecy.

  • KA

    This is insane. Wouldn’t Cartoon Network know that by not appealing to women and girls, they are effectively cutting their profits in half, which any Economics 101 class will tell you is a stupid move?

  • Charlie

    For some reason they think less boys will watch it if more girls are which doesn’t really make a lot of sense, they aren’t psychic.

  • KA

    Batman: The Animated Series was gold. I LOVED it.

  • Anonymous

    It’s the same at McD’s. I don’t remember there ever being a boys or girls toy. You just got what you got. I mean, who exactly are they trying to appease?
    ETA:I didn’t read mags as a teen. But everyone I knew read Teen Vogue, etc. I thought they were trash. Not because I had a problem with the sexual content, but because they seemed to send a bizarre message.

  • Anonymous

    Yes its awful that they dont want females to love their product. I say females because I dont think they even consider how females that may be older and of driving age spend their own money on comic related stuff. I dont think they imagine that the older a girl gets she can dress up as her favorite super heroine/villain at a comicon. And they really dont think that these girls will at some point start to have interest in boys/girls and these said boys/girls will want to buy them nice geeky stuff for them. But how can they if there isnt a market for them? To me its the geeky circle of life.

    Its also just as sad that they want to DUMB down the shows to get more younger boys. As if the shows have to be nothing more that fart and booger jokes to get them interested in the show. I am not a fan of Adventure Time or Regular Show for this reason to me its just mindless stuff, and also the reason that the new Teen Titans GO series is not at the top of my DVR.

    I blame and point the finger at the man who is to blame for all of it. George Lucas. No this is not a Lucas rant just a little jab at him. Lucas and Star Wars was a huge hit and made money. One reason was due to merchandise and action figures. Since then most films/tv shows with even a hint of making money from figures will try it. Thus in some market minds if the figures arent selling then the movie/show is a flop. And yes I do realize that is how most companies make their money, and I a glad they do. I love buying figures and shirts for me and my nephew. Yes I also have 2 nieces but only one is into comics and its just via Injustice video game.

    Ok Ive gone on long enough. Hopefully one day they will have a smart person see that they need to market to all and make a great show for us.

  • KA

    Not to mention, the show was actually the brainchild of two 13-year-old girls.

  • Charlie

    One of my favorite shows ever, Harley Quinn sprang from it too.

  • Anonymous

    It says something about a show made in the early 90′s and a child born in 2002 will watch and love it. Granted, I had it on the TV pretty solidly when she was an infant/toddler. Yep. Batman and Sesame Street.

  • Charlie

    Yeah I only read computer game magazines. I couldn’t have been less interested in boys and makeup. Haha.

  • Ryan Colson

    Why hasn’t this spawned some mass boycott of their bland franchises anyway?

  • Anonymous

    I wasn’t making a statement about my views on reality – I was pointing out how marketing people think which is how we’ve gotten to where we are.

    Is marketing philosophy wrong from time to time? No. They’re wrong almost all the time.
    Marketing exists to reduce risk. It’s a security blanket of highly processed statistics.

    So does marketing increase sales? No. It provides a fantasy of control for people running businesses.
    Can you find instances where their theories about the world break down.

    Actually you’d be much harder pressed to find instances where marketing actually worked… as opposed to taking credit for product success they had nothing to do with.

  • Anonymous

    it’s also why banks constantly refuse absolutely reasonable loan requests

  • http://www.facebook.com/nuuni.nuunani Nuuni Nuunani

    Well thats true with virtually all of the shows aimed at girls in Japan. Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha featured laser cannons and aerial battles similar to Gundam. Sailor Moon had a post apocolyptic feature as a major plotline.Cutie Honey and Kill La Kill featured hardcore action and kickass animation.

    Though Japanese media has its own issues that are a wholly unrelated bag of discussion (racism, overly convenient fan service moments, the weirder attempts to appeal to older viewers….) I think they do more fun things with action than we do. Though it should be pointed out that while in the states we view blood, violence and such as a pg-13 thing and anything sexual as an R-A rated thing, Japan puts both on a general equel footing in terms of viewer ratings.

  • http://emmiemears.com/ Emmie Mears

    It doesn’t resemble our Earth logic. It’s insane troll logic.

    I miss Buffy.

  • Charlie

    Ah I see, like the fact kickstarter has show that people will actually buy games that publishers would never touch.

  • http://emmiemears.com/ Emmie Mears

    That must be why the new 100s are blue.

  • Anonymous

    exactly

  • Ender1200

    The problem is that the execs only ever look at the most superficial traits of the shows.
    Take AT for example – so much of what makes it successful forgoes demographics is universal in its appeal. All these little points of brilliance, the witty humor, the interesting way it treats continuity and the fact that the show really dose manage create the kind of fantasy world little kids make when they play pretend. (which from an adult POV is almost painfully nostalgic).

    But corporate executives only look at these things from a marketing POV and as such only see that a show on the little boys demographic is working.
    In the end this is where all the follow the leader shows always come from.

  • Charlie

    It’s really awful isn’t it, Adventure Time is so much more than ‘crude humour’ It reminds me of when business people destroyed the amazing cartoon The Real Ghostbusters by forcing it to be more appealing to young children for no apparent reason.

  • Anonymous

    Not to mention that Rachel, the lass that liked traditionally feminine things and ‘girl stuff,’ was the most hardcore bruiser and brutal fighter of the whole entire Animorph team. Her books where we got to see her inner struggles and her thoughts on being the ‘pretty popular girl’ vs ‘the frontline warrior (and finding her place there as a soldier)’ were so great. I loved her character so much.

  • Curuniel

    Young Justice had some great female characters, and I see no reason why they couldn’t have made for great girls’ toys. I mean hell, you didn’t even just have the badass action ladies that executives would probably argue are a ‘niche market or something – you had Ms Martian, who actually was all cute and domestic half the time! What’s so hard about that?

    I adored Teen Titans and Young Justice, and Teen Titans Go! kills me because it’s just so cheapened. He’s right that it’s all the fun goofy bits without any of the depth, but the thing is the depth doesn’t take away from the fun for younger kids! Doctor Who didn’t become popular back in the day by taking out all the scary or serious bits.

    Uuuuurrrgh… so depressing. Smith’s right about the self-fulfilling thing too. Girls don’t buy these toys because they’re specifically marketed at not-girls. If a girl was a fan of Young Justice, you bet she’d want the toys – probably the female action figures!

  • Anonymous

    Hmm… I don’t know if I would call that hatred. There’s a saying that goes :”Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity”. These people don’t want to hurt anyone, they’re just convinced that what they do is good business. They’re wrong, obviously.

  • Ashe

    Buy two before our limited time offer expires and get a free baby!

  • Anonymous

    I’m not surprised. We have the same problem in video games.

  • Tiki Roommate

    This IS the company responsible for the Green Lantern movie.

  • Travis

    Speaking of being mindless, 90 upvotes and not one of them apparently bothered to look up whether or not Hasbro even made Young Justice toys.

    Spoilers… they didn’t. But hey, don’t let not knowing WTF you’re talking about stop you from raging at anything and everything. You’re bound to hit the right mark eventually.

  • Jason Rye

    Hasbro had nothing to do with Young Justice, that was Mattel, WB, and DC.

  • Tec15

    The title is somewhat misleading, as Dini makes clear that it’s more of a Cartoon Network problem rather than a Warner Brothers Animation problem…

  • http://evilifiction.blogspot.com/ Pat

    Boys will also stop watching it if they cancel it.
    I don’t think they’ve thought this through.

  • D.A.V.E.

    Ultimate Spider-Man, Hulk and the Agents of SMASH, and Avengers Assemble are horribly written garbage. They all have the same boring art and they’re too busy with terrible jokes and cliche storylines to make something good. The female representation is also horrible, even worse than DC’s. If you want show him GOOD Marvel shows, have him watch Spectacular Spider-Man and Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

    Can’t disagree with Marvel’s live action, though. Only good thing live action DC ever made was Arrow.

  • Norman Osborn

    The funny thing is, Paul Dini is writing for the Marvel shows.

  • Anonymous

    Adrian obviously meant Hasbro’s example as a contrast to WB/DC’s sexist stupidity. This should be clear to anyone with normal reading comprehension.

  • Anonymous

    And hidden beneath the irony is another irony: The male writer frustrated he doesn’t get to write storylines expanding on the inner lives and experiences of the characters because “that’s what girls like”.
    Yeah sure. Boys hate that stuff – totally. Or maybe just buttheaded studio execs whi neither read comics as kids or understand them now.

  • Jessy Southard Strohmeyer

    I haven’t watched those first ones you say are horrible. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Iron Man: Armored Adventures, X-Men (from the 90s)…those are all really good, and I watch them with my three year old. The Iron Man Extremis and Astonishing X-Men are really good, but not kid appropriate. The Lego Super Heroes is actually hilarious; I wish they’d make more of that. I haven’t seen a good DC cartoon since the animated Batman of the late 80s (and I haven’t rewatched it recently, so it may suck and I’m just having nostalgia from when I watched it as a kid). I’ve tried the various newer Batman shows and variations of the Justice League, and they’re just terrible.

    You’re right about Arrow; it is really good. I hope the Flash spin off is as good, but I just don’t know about the actor they chose… I loved the 80s/90s Batman movies, but I was a kid when they came out, and as I discovered while trying to rewatch them recently, they’re painful to sit through. The Batman reboot was alright, but I’ve never understood why people rave about it and act like Nolan is a freakin genius…

  • Tiny Tina Booom

    I wonder if this is the reason why the Green Lantern animated series never had a second season.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    Cartoon Network is owned by Time Warner.

  • Brett W

    Justice League not good? Did we see the same show?

  • http://whiterosebrian.tumblr.com/ White Rose Brian

    Your story reminds me of Axe Cop. Incidentally, the boy who made the stories is clearly open enough to “girly” things to include the Best Fairy Ever.

  • Jessy Southard Strohmeyer

    I’ve tried two or three different Justice League cartoons, and none of them held my interest.

  • Brett W

    There is only one Justice League, and it was brilliant. Justice League Unlimited was even better.

  • Tec15

    I know, but the relationship between WBA and CN isn’t that simple. For instance, CN prefers to air its own in house shows over ones originating at different departments like DC..

  • Alexa

    I remember watching Batman and Superman when I was a kid with my brother, and never at any point did he way ” I have to stop watching this with you because well, it feels so wrong watching with a girl!”, which is something I guess these dumb asses believe will happen if girls are interested in the stuff boy’s also happen to like.

  • Anonymous

    It seems in some ways Hasbro is only partially embracing the Bronies. When the fans named “Derpy Hooves”, the showrunners ran with it. However, a little ways down the road now it appears that Hasbro is telling the showrunners to drop the name “Derpy Hooves” in favor of “Ditzy Doo”. Can’t let the fans think they have to much power.

  • MoonofHecate

    I guess that explains the “Bros” in Warner Bros.

  • Jake Mertz

    So, THAT’S why they wrecked on of my favorite shows, and made it so goram LAME!! Teen Titans had a good balance of serious stories and funny moments. The storyline where Robin joined Slade was especially good. That trying to appeal to boys, and just boys, is also probably why Cartoon Network doesn’t have very many shows that are good anymore. Trying to appeal to a wider audience would make it so they would actually have to have some smart writing and good stories.

  • Kastel

    Oh, we’re not that special, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands for example also called it Rapunzel. :)

  • Foxfire

    I know exactly what you mean.

  • Foxfire

    Are they aware that girls get their husbands and boyfriends and other male friends interested in this stuff?

    I never would have watched Young Justice if my wife hadn’t loved it. It still took about 7 or 8 episodes before I started super enjoying it. If she hadn’t of watched it, I wouldn’t have looked twice, but when she finally made me watch it. It was so very awesome.

    But then – I’m not part of their target demographic I guess, as a married 33 year foreign male with no kids, a high disposable income and a wife that really enjoys it when I buy action figures for her…..

    Yeah good call cancelling those shows WB. (I’m including Brave and the Bold here, the wounds are still raw!)

  • Anonymous

    That’s a pretty rough example though, as much as I love Derpy, a lot of people did feel it marginalized them. I am not sure Ditzy is at all better. In my experience, they are just flat out avoiding naming her at all. I know my Funko figure doesn’t have a name, and I don’t think I’ve seen any official merch since her being named on-screen that does include a name. It is a shame, she got caught in the crossfire of people being insensitive and people being too sensitive. As for it saying the fans don’t have power, it was also fans who objected strenuously to the name. which has been a long standing controversy.

    Anyway. I think Hasbro is an extraordinarily GOOD example of embracing a wide demographic. My 10 year old daughter loves MLP, and I do too from when I was a kid, and it is something we share. I like that we are both included, as well as pretty much anyone else who wants to be. They certainly aren’t saying ‘We don’t want boys!’ like the YJ people are. :P

  • No Soup For You

    I’m sorry to be the one to bring bad news, Ms Pantozzi, but Paul Dini has conned you big time. It was on Dini’s watch that Damian was brought into continuity, Selina’s pregnancy story arc, Gotham Sirens the “humiliate Catwoman” title, the bait and switch making Talia the love interest in Arkham City and a dozen other stunts were unfurled deliberately to tell Catwoman fans, mostly young women, to get out of the fandom, they would only be abused while he had any power.

    He is one of the most vicious of the boy’s club and he’s conned you into thinking he’s on your side. I would urge the people jumping up and down in outrage on this to exercise a little critical thinking for once and consider the possibility that Dini is not being entirely truthful. There’s politics in Hollywood and when a former big shot who no longer gets projects starts badmouthing his former colleagues, there’s usually a reason. Nothing Dini has said or done in the last 15 years supports the idea that these statements are genuine or that he gives a crock about female viewers and readers. On the contrary, he sees them as punching bags.