Monday, 25 November 2013

Gail Simone

It's not every day you see an otherwise respected, reasonable-thinking member of popular culture have a complete meltdown. Usually it's pretty gradual, with a celebrity only slowly dishing out the insanity over their careers until it reaches critical mass.

It's interesting when it happens all in one day. When someone who appears to be a sane and functioning member of society just throws out everything that made them beloved in the first place, usually it's because they said something on Twitter.

How strange, how sad, that Gail Simone of all people would be the next in line. It's not every day a talented writer and an ally of diversity in comics chooses to throw out the goodwill she's earned from her fans by being a complete jackass. The author of comics such as "The Movement" and "Secret Six" has, up until now, displayed the charm, the intelligence and the fierce talent comics need. And also the polite, good-natured sense of humour that an often all-too-serious medium could use more of. To see her fall this low is tragic.

She responded to an innocent question from someone concerned about what his place in the comics industry might mean to someone who might have a harder time breaking through. Her response equated to telling him to give up.

To respond with such venom, such contempt was uncharacteristic of her. Her fans(including myself) responded. At this point, a reasonable human being(like the one we thought Gail Simone was) might become introspective. They might try to understand the negative reaction, maybe take a look back at their decisions and ask themselves if they had made a mistake.

Gail Simone, in her wisdom, decided to be a stubborn, mean-spirited bully instead. And then complain that people are sending her mean letters.

If you make a mistake, or hurt people, that's one thing. I think that's forgivable. I wouldn't want to be automatically defriended over an error, which we are prone to make as imperfect creatures. I should extend a little more than the same courtesy to others. We shouldn't let people get away with the times they hurt others, or themselves, but we should know mercy.

If you are completely demeaning to someone unintentionally, because your mind was elsewhere, or your response was poorly worded or required some context that we don't have, that's unfortunate. I might need some time with that.

If you absolutely refuse to admit any wrong-doing, and then repeatedly talk down to the people who depend on you to be more than an unruly child, and then have the audacity to think YOUR FANS SHOULD APOLOGIZE TO YOU?

That's where I draw the line. That is when you lose the right to call yourself a force for good, no matter how many ass-kissers say otherwise.

I can forgive a lapse in judgment or sanity. Mistakes are human. But when you deliberately hurt people who don't deserve it, when you refuse to admit when you fucked up, take pride in your aggressive sexism, retreat behind cover of "trolling" when people realize what an asshole you are, and then "forgive" your fans for standing up to you?

When you are a role-model, and you abuse that power, and set a bad example for everyone in an industry already poisoned by sexism, racism and insanity?

Black Canary would be ashamed of you, Gail. 



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