I’m all for queer representation in big-budgeted superhero movies, but if it’s not well-written then such representation ends up doing more harm than good. According to certain reports, Birds of Prey might be using problematic queer stereotypes and I hope Warner Bros. decides to reconsider.
This article contains alleged spoilers for Birds of Prey. You’ve been warned, Puddin’!
Birds of Prey is an upcoming DC Comics-based film. The full title is Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). It features Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn along with other DC characters such as Black Canary, Huntress, and Renee Montoya.
Now, we already have Quinn (bisexual) and Montoya (lesbian) as far as queer representation goes. That’s why I have no idea why the studio is apparently going to make Black Mask (played by Ewan McGregor) gay.
I have no interest in having a gay villain, especially one who is reportedly going to act in a flamboyant and stereotypical manner. That’s not the type of LGBTQIA+ representation we want to see, Hollywood. We already have our fill of queer-coded villains throughout the history of cinema.
Furthermore, the plot will (reportedly) revolve around a diamond which has a flash drive containing images of Black Mask’s private member. To make things worse, the diamond will be swallowed by Cassandra Cain (played by Ella Jay Basco).
Having an underage character swallow a diamond with images of a grown man’s private member is a whole other discussion. Cringe!
Also, having straight actors play a number of queer characters is an entirely different topic of discussion, too. Sigh!
I have no idea why the DCEU is going in such a direction. After the mega failures of Batman v Superman and Justice League, the franchise is still in a sensitive position. Shazam! couldn’t do impressive numbers at the box office even though many people enjoyed watching it.
If Birds of Prey is going to be the kind of movie it’s being reported to be, I don’t think it will be received well by hardcore DC Comics fans and the general audience.
I mean, sexual jokes worked for the Deadpool films because they were made on the side. I don’t think people will appreciate the main plot being about a flamboyant gay man being worried about X-rated images that are inside a kid.
All of these plot points make the upcoming movie a huge target to be ridickuled online!
Birds of Prey is scheduled to be released in the U.S come February 7, 2020.
The studio still has time. Maybe they’ll make some changes?
If Warner Bros. wanted well-written queer representation, the studio should have made a Gotham City Sirens movie with an all queer cast of Harley, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman instead of turning Black Mask into whatever type of gay character he’s going to be.
Feel free to share your thoughts with us.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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