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Sunday, September 15, 2013 

DC runs objectionable art contest

Hot Air noticed an artwork contest DC is holding that includes an insulting challenge: to draw Harley Quinn sitting naked and suicidal in a bathtub. The National Alliance on Mental Illness also took notice and were not amused. Their response is:
This week we commemorated the 11th annual World Suicide Prevention Day with the theme “Stigma: A Major Barrier for Suicide Prevention.” Too many people who die by suicide suffer in silence due to fear of the perceived stigma surrounding mental illness.

We believe that instead of making light of suicide, DC Comics could have used this opportunity to host a contest looking for artists to depict a hopeful message that there is help for those in crisis. This would have been a positive message to send, especially to young readers.

On behalf of the tens of millions of people who have lost a loved one to suicide, this contest is extremely insensitive, and potentially dangerous. We know from research that graphic and sensational depictions of suicide can contribute to contagion.

While we understand that this may have been unintentional, nonetheless this contest was a mistake in judgment. We hope the company acts responsibly and moves quickly to revise this contest. Our organizations would welcome the opportunity to be of assistance with such an action.
I think the contest is in poor taste too, and unfortunately, it's the norm at DC today to submerge in vulgarity. The NAMI is right: positive and inspiring messages are just what they could've asked people to draw with their heroes, but have thrown away a long time ago, all because they couldn't withstand their obsession with darkness.

Harley Quinn worked well in the Batman cartoons, but as a comics character, I'd say they botched her considerably, and never knew what much to do with her.

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