Archie Comic Banned In Singapore For Showing A Wedding Between Two Men
Well, at least it's not going to be pulped. That's, um, good news, right?
Today in sadly unsurprising news, the third installment of Archie: The Married Life has been banned in Singapore for depicting a wedding between two men.
The storyline in question follows the marriage of Kevin Keller, a gay veteran character that won writer Dan Parent a GLAAD award in 2013 and appeared in 2010 to coincide with the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. If Keller’s name sounds more familiar than your average recently-introduced member of the Riverdale crew, it’s because the comic’s first openly gay character factors strongly in the penultimate issue of Life With Archie released this week. (If you’ve already read Issue #36, come over here and hold my hand. We’ll get through this together.)
Homosexuality is still illegal and highly taboo in Singapore, where the country’s Media Development Authority forbids depictions of “alternative lifestyles or deviant sexual practices.” (Pop Tate might have even served malteds at the wedding–the horror!) An official statement from the MDA claims
[We]… found its content to be in breach of guidelines because of its depiction of the same sex marriage of two characters in the comic […] We thus informed the local distributor not to import or distribute the comic in retail outlets.”
Disturbingly, the organization claims that the ban isn’t out of line with the politics of Singapore’s citizens, stating its censorship is always prompted by “public feedback or complaints.” Anti-Archie sentiment is especially depressing considering that earlier this month the Singapore National Library agreed to destroy children’s books portraying non-traditional families at the behest of a single bigot.
As heartbreaking as the homophobic censorship in Singapore is, the comics crackdown at least demonstrates how far Archie has come in terms of representation. Members of the MDA likely won’t be the only readers clutching their pearls over Archie and the Gang’s new diversity, which just shows how surprisingly progressive Riverdale has become. Now everyone needs to catch up. Like, immediately. Sabrina, maybe you have a spell to magic them out of the dark ages?
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