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Tuesday, July 29, 2014 

New Flash TV show will feature at least 2 gay characters

In keeping with the political correctness of the day, the producers of the new Flash TV series have announced it will feature some gay characters in the cast:
Last but definitely not least, "The Flash" will introduce a gay character at some point in the first 12 episodes of the season.

Berlanti noted that David Singh, a gay DC Comics character, will be part of the "Flash" TV universe: He will recur on the show and will be played by Patrick Sabongui. The producers said that in the episodes sketched out so far, "we haven't dealt with that" aspect of the character, who, in the Arrow comics, is Barry Allen's supervisor in the Central City crime lab.

But Berlanti and Kreisberg added that, in addition to Singh, another gay character will be introduced in the first half of Season 1 of "The Flash" -- a man who already exists in the DC universe (I tried to get them to name the character, but they didn't take the bait). Of course, fans of "Arrow" know that show already has a LGBTQ character in Nyssa Al Ghul (Katrina Law), who was introduced as a former lover of Sara Lance (Caity Lotz).
Yeah, like that's really news anymore, isn't it. And like it just has to be done, and can't work or be done without it. The Singh character may be a recent addition to the DCU, and though they haven't mentioned the other character name, it's possible the Pied Piper, retconned as gay in 1990, will be the other gay character they feature. What's really odd is why the staff producing the series based on John Constantine say they don't want to feature his bisexual mentality seen ever since the Vertigo imprint was launched, but are willing to feature homosexual characters in the TV series based on the Flash, even though some might consider Hellblazer less "commercial" than the Scarlet Speedster. Coupled with the news this'll draw from the retcon by Geoff Johns, and you've got one of the most PC-reeking shows on the prime time schedule in many years.

Xfinity brought up the subject in an interview with Geoff Johns and Greg Berlanti, and they reveal a few more things:
I don’t know if you saw the little brouhaha over Constantine’s bisexuality not being a part of that show but what do you guys think about that and just gay characters in comics being adapted into television series?

GB: I think as the head of DC if I were Geoff I would just say I trust the show runners and whatever they’re going to do. But I think it’s just like all our characters aren’t all white, we don’t want characters who are all straight.

GJ: This is really important for everything, for comics, even the one thing with Iris (Candice Patton) and Detective West (Jesse L. Martin). Casting the character is something we want to do right away and then what we did in the comics…

GB: You were already working on it.

GJ: Eventually we’re going to introduce Wally West at some point, so when we reintroduced him in the comic books we’re like “let’s make him black.” That’s what we’re going to do in the show eventually. It’s like one tiny example.

Like Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes), a character that Andrew and I brought back in the comics. I wanted to bring back…I’m like “give me the worst character ever.” We really cracked that comic book and created a fun character that we then brought on to “The Flash” show. He just fit right in there. He happens to be Spanish but it’s not why we wanted the character. He’s just got a great backstory and he’s a fan boy, like Barry. The more that it’s just natural and organic, that’s what we wanted.

GB: When I was a young, gay kid growing up, there weren’t a lot of gay characters on television. But I do think I identified with comic book characters in some ways because they were empowered people who were different. That was, in some ways and a lot of ways, my outlet. So, I mean I know the value of all that. I always want to just make sure when we do it. Like with “Arrow,” we talked last year and I said “we’re going to do it on ‘Arrow.’” When we do it we also just want to do it right. We have gay characters that are hopefully as well-executed as the characters that are straight.
Oh, so because Berlanti is gay, he believes it's just so important there be characters to reflect him and his world view, even though I'm sure he knows it's becoming a cliche decades ago, and according to recent surveys, only %1.6 of the population identify as LGBT, so injecting gays and lesbians into showbiz hardly reflects the real picture. And given that so many LGBT characters are spotlighted only for their sexual orientation, that's why there's little chance those they introduce in Flash will be well illustrated. Curious how Berlanti doesn't care by contrast whether Danish, Portuguese and Romanians are ever given serious representation.

From Johns' comments, it sounds like Wally West was turned black not just for the sake of so-called "diversity" in comics, but also because that was the background they wanted to use in the TV show too.
So while some producers and writers are going to embrace those LGBT characters when adapting them to the small screen, others are choosing not to go there. Is this because they don’t believe the audience wants to see gay characters in their comic book-based projects? Or does it have to do with gay and straight show runners and what they bring to their respective shows in terms of story and character?

It seems to me that in definitively saying you won’t explore a character’s sexuality that was already a part of its DNA in the source material, you’re not being true to the character or the audience but, in terms of “Constantine,” the creators have also curbed his trademark smoking habits, which could be a sign of the times where smoking is deemed unhealthy and unattractive. Unfortunately, the fact that marriage equality and LGBT visibility have come so far, in the world of “Constantine,” it appears that it merely won’t exist.
If smoking isn't healthy or attractive, then neither is homosexuality. Doesn't that occur to the reporter who wrote that sugary dud? But then, you couldn't possibly expect someone that PC to ever admit it in writing.

And this isn't the only eyebrow raiser in script choices they're making. The villainess Plastique, who first appeared in Firestorm, is going to appear in the Flash, and she:
...is described as "a fetching young redhead who was a bomb specialist with the Army before she was injured by an IED in Iraq." Apparently after being exposed to the Central City explosion, she gains the ability to turn any object into a bomb with a touch of her hand. Despite having a power worth of a supervillain, TV Line seems to suggest that she will be on the Flash's team as an ally.
But what if she does turn out to be a villainess? One would have to wonder then if the background they're giving her here is an insult to veterans of the war in Iraq, ditto the army. Even if it doesn't turn out that way, the heavy-handed reliance on homosexuality in these TV shows is getting way out of hand. Plus, no matter what they might say, it's become a very politicized issue.

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From the casting meeting at every TV show these days:

"Token black character?"
"Token Latino character?"
"Token Asian character?"
"Token gay character?"
"Token Caucasian conservative Christian Republican villain?"
"Token Caucasian British villain?"
"Okay, looks like we have everything to be a complete success."

Would be sad if it wasn't so funny.

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