DC Comics in Hot Water Over Harley Quinn Suicide Contest - Apologizes
It doesn’t seem to just rain, but pour on poor ol’ DC Comics. First there was Orson Scott Card’s Superman fiasco, then last week the writers of Batwoman left over a same-sex marriage ceremony, and now they’re caught making light of suicide. Well, kinda. But c'mon, they’ve apologized. Again.
Last week the Daily Dot reported that the comics giant was “offering lucky artists the chance to begin their careers in the industry—if they can effectively draw a naked woman preparing to kill herself”. Sounds like the chance of a lifetime, right?
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.
And it was bad timing that the announcement came out just days before the start of National Suicide Prevention Week. The groups associated with the event said they were “disappointed” with DC’s attempts to “make light” of suicide with the contest. I think that’s a polite way to say they were “pissed off”.
Tuesday, Jimmy Palmiotti, the writer responsible for the Harley Quinn scene, posted a statement on Facebook taking credit for not positioning the story properly. Right, like a marketing genius could sell this one. Then yesterday, a spokesman for DC released the following apology:
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."
Setting aside the big issue that Harley Quinn is “arguably one of the most sexualized” characters in their canon, who thought this was a good idea?!? Is it me, or is that adage about common sense being uncommon getting worse? C’mon DC, stop making the news.
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