Producers of an upcoming NBC show based on a popular comic book series have ruled out plans to keep the lead character as bisexual.
‘Constantine’, due to premier in October, will follow John Constantine (played by Welsh actor Mark Ryan), a dark, street-smart magician and occult detective. It is based on the ‘Hellblazer’ comic book series.
In the comic books, the character is bisexual. In 2008, AfterElton.com ranked John Constantine at second place in their top ten list of gay and bisexual science fiction characters, beaten only by Torchwood’s Captain Jack Harkness.
However, the show’s producers have said they have “no immediate plans” to incorporate this element of Constantine’s identity in their show.
“In those comic books, John Constantine aged in real time,” said executive producer Daniel Cerone. “Within this tome of three decades [of comics] there might have been one or two issues where he’s seen getting out of bed with a man. So [maybe] 20 years from now? But there are no immediate plans.”
Discussing the character’s smoking habit, he added: “We’re on network television, so we’re limited to what we can do and what we can show. But within that framework we’re going to be very honest to the character … I believe Constantine has a very healthy sex life, we’re not going to see that on TV either.”
Several people have taken to Twitter to complain against the announcement:
If a character is bi but this is never mentioned, shown, hinted then viewers will erase their sexuality. John #Constantine becomes straight.
— The Bisexual Index (@bisexualindex) July 13, 2014
— Trevor Joseph Newton (@TrevJoseph) July 14, 2014
Erasing a characters queer sexuality to portray them as straight shouldn't be allowed in any type of media. It's disgusting. @NBCConstantine
— Amber (@AccioTV) July 14, 2014
So it's alright to make a characters sexuality a thing if they're straight, but not if they're bisexual. Whelp, not watching Constantine.
— Csilla (@darkelegance) July 14, 2014
— Melody (@melodyhope22) July 14, 2014
The character was first introduced by Alan Moore in comic book series ‘Swamp Thing’, before moving to his own title, which ran for 25 years with Vertigo.
In 2005, the comic was adapted into a film starring Keanu Reeves as the hero. As with the upcoming TV show, the film adaptation made no mention of the lead character’s sexuality.
Moore was also the writer of graphic novel ‘V for Vendetta’, also adapted into a film in 2005. Both the novel and the film feature as a key plot point the story of a woman imprisoned by the totalitarian state for being a lesbian.