Young Justice Creator Responds to Criticism — Boys Are Tradition
Via DC Women Kicking Ass comes a link to Greg Weisman’s response to fans who criticized Young Justice‘s premiere for being so boy-heavy. A fan wrote in:
I expect that the women will have a lot more to do in the episodes to come, but I still find it profoundly problematic to introduce the characters in such an unequal manner. I believe there are too many men in the world as it is who see women as mere supporting players in their stories. Why reinforce this stereotype for a whole new generation of superhero cartoon fans?
To which Weisman responds in a rather self-contradictory manner. He starts out by saying that “There are no female Leaguers with traditional first generation sidekicks.” Um, Wonder Girl? One of the earliest Teen Titans (which is influencing this show as much as the comic called Young Justice)?
The rest of his answer is a mish-mosh, pointing to cost (another voice actress would mean $$) and secrets coming up (“There was NEVER any intent to introduce Artemis this early in the season for story reasons.”) and not wanting too many characters and most important to him, tradition. To which I again say: Wonder Girl? Not to mention that any series with a black Aqualad and a lab-created Superboy can’t be taking tradition too seriously.
Basically, a gender balance wasn’t as important as saving money and making the writing job easier. That doesn’t surprise me, since Hollywood often puts forward the message that including women and girls isn’t as important as reaching teen boys. But saying “well, the pilot doesn’t represent the series in this way” — that’s just stupid. Your pilot is supposed to represent your series. That’s the point. Expecting fans to eagerly return when they’ve been disappointed once strikes me as willfully naive.
This demonstrates to me how sometimes it’s better when creators don’t try to explain themselves. It’s easier to give them the benefit of the doubt when they’re not putting their feet in their mouths in public. Don’t rationalize it — show us what you can do instead. Make a good show that includes female characters in substantial roles.