It looks like those of us who have been waiting for a bisexual protagonist on American network TV are going to have to wait a while longer. At the Television Critics Association press tour executive producer Daniel Cerone stated that it wasn’t a crucial part of Constantine’s character and joked that we might see it ’20 years from now’ but reaffirmed that there were no ‘immediate plans.’ This interview has dampened the excitement of many fans who were hoping that this might finally be their chance to see a lead character that reflects their own sexuality on a network genre show. Coupled with the news that they are switching out the lead female character before the show even starts, and it looks like Constantine is off to a rocky start before the pilot even airs.
At the same event that he dismissed Constantine’s sexuality, Cerone stressed the great lengths they were going to make sure that his smoking habit go portrayed on screen in some way. I’ve compared the two issues before and expressed concern that they both might be cut due to network pressure, but it seems they have decided to fight for the cigarette smoking while ignoring his sexuality completely. While I understand that Constantine’s cigarette smoking is portrayed nearly constantly in the comics whereas his bisexuality is addressed only a few times, portraying non heteronormative sexualities on TV seems like a far more important issue to push for than smoking. I understand that for many Hellblazer fans, his cigarette smoking is a staple of his character and I’m not at all saying that it should be ignored, but if I were going to pick a battle I’d have gone with the one that has wider societal impact.
Alas, I’m not a showrunner, all I can do is hope that someday someone in a position of power has the same concerns that I do about the heteronormative shows that dominate our TV screens. It’s quite clear that Daniel Cerone is not that person. When that showrunner or producer finally comes I hope it lives up the expectations that so many have placed on this important issue. We’ve had so many opportunities for this to happen, but American networks and the showrunners who put content on those networks just don’t see it as an issue worth fighting for.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.
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