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Supergirl cast accused of mocking LGBT fans

Katharine Swindells July 24, 2017

The cast of Supergirl has appeared to mock fans who ship lesbian relationships on the show.

In an MTV News interview at San Diego Comic Con this weekend, several of the actors performed an impromptu musical recap of the previous season.

The interviewees included Melissa Benoist, who plays Kara Danvers, AKA Supergirl, Jeremy Jordan – who plays Kara’s friend Winn Schott – Kara’s love interest Mon El, played by Chris Wood, and Katie McGrath, who plays Kara’s friend Lena Luthor.

Supergirl panel at San Diego Comic Con on Saturday
Supergirl panel at San Diego Comic Con on Saturday. (L-R) Jeremy Jordan, Melissa Benoist, David Harewood, Katie McGrath, Robert L. Rovner, Jessica Queller. (Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

In the video, Jordan begins the recap song by saying that in the past season Lena and Kara became friends, before yelling repeatedly: “But they’re only friends!”

The cast laughs and Benoist joins in, shouting: “They’re only friends!”

They were referring to a large portion of the Supergirl fan community who want Lena and Kara to have a romantic relationship, a pairing who has been dubbed “SuperCorp.”

Jordan later says: “I’m going to get destroyed for what I just did…I just debunked Supercorp,” and Benoist chimes in, saying: “That’s pretty brave.”

 

McGrath tried to walk back the cast’s comments, saying that “the great thing about what we do is, like any art, anyone can read into it what they want,” but she was laughed over by the rest of the cast.

Wood then sarcastically added: “Sexuality is all about others’ perception of yours, right?”

A number of fans felt the video was extremely hurtful and dismissive to the fans who ship SuperCorp, many of whom are LGBT+.

They felt it was part of a trend in which fans imagining hypothetical same-sex relationships is seen as absurd, while “shipping” heterosexual characters is accepted.

 

The video is particularly shocking as Supergirl has been previously lauded for their feminist message and positive portrayal of LGBT+ people, particularly through the relationship of Supergirl’s sister Alex Danvers and Maggie Sawyer.

Alex, played by actress Chyler Leigh, had a coming out storyline earlier this year that was praised by critics and fans alike and LGBT+ fans have followed their relationship eagerly.

Some fans have accused the show of tokenism, using their one lesbian relationship to excuse other incidents homophobia and queerbaiting.

Related: Supergirl shuts down woman who complained about explaining homosexuality to her kids

Leigh was not present at SDCC, having cancelled last minute due to the death of her father-in-law.

After the backlash to the video, Jordan later published a statement on Instagram.

Initially, his response appeared to be defensive, claiming that it was just a “silly joke” but he later posted again more apologetically.

“I’m gonna try to be better. I’m gonna make mistakes. I want to tell every one of you I’m sorry I hurt you,” he said.

 

from @jeremymjordan on Instagram

One Tumblr user says she contacted Benoist’s publicity team to express her concerns about the video and received a response that said she was making “baseless claims” and made her feel “disrespected and patronized.”

Fans have found this video particularly upsetting considering the troubling frequency of the “bury your gays” trope in mainstream television.

Last year CW show The 100 controversially killed off a lead character just moments after she had finally kissed her female love interest. The death sparked 300,000 tweets with the hashtag “LGBT fans deserve better”.

In the past two years, 62 lesbian and bisexual women characters were killed off on television, a number vastly disproportionate to the total number of LGBT+ characters.

Watch the full video below:

More: bisexual, comic-con, cw, lesbian, Melissa Benoist, San Diego, supergirl, surperman

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