Jeremy Slater, showrunner on Fox TV series The Exorcist, sequel to the 1973 horror movie classic of the same name, has taken a strong and unique approach to online backlash over a gay kiss in the series.
Beware, minor spoilers for the series' second season follow.
After a recent episode, The Exorcist received some criticism online, as ever, from people unhappy when one of the lead characters, excommunicated priest and exorcist Marcus Keane (Ben Daniels) shares a kiss with another man, Peter Morrow (Christopher Cousins).
This is a little remarkable as it should have come as no surprise: Keane is heavily implied to be bisexual in the first season, even making eyes at another man in a bar in one scene.
But then again, far be it from the internet-homophobes to let a single portrayal of same-sex loves existence to pass, and out they come again. For the Richard Hammonds of the world, this is, of course, exactly why we still feel the need and why it is important to come out.
Slater, on being asked about the backlash by Sci-Fi Bulletin, responded:
"I don't think there was that much of a backlash.
I saw a couple of homophobes on Twitter and my response is, 'Good, fuck you. I'm glad you didn't like it, I'm glad it ruined the show for you. You shouldn't have good things in your life.
If a homophobe can't watch the show anymore because one of the characters is gay, then I'm glad something good has come out of it."
This tea is exceptionally good today, by the way.
Slater, deciding that he has had enough of this bulls*@t in this day and age continues:
"This is 2017 and we still have people throwing temper tantrums online because they don't want to see gay characters. I think it's the last gasp of a certain breed of dinosaur that's on the way out – let them kick and scream as they go."
Frankly, I have to say bravo to him. This kind of ridiculous denial of the facts of existence and the very world around them being portrayed in the media shows a particular breed of killjoy, and they should be more than just ignored, but actively told that their loud bemoaning isn't something that creatives and studios should or will fear anymore.
"We've said from the beginning that Marcus is a bisexual character, which is pretty rare on television in general and certainly on network television, where everyone has binary definitions of gay or straight.
The response to that moment was 99% positive, from what I saw, and I think the moment meant a lot to a lot of viewers, particularly viewers who aren't necessarily used to seeing gay representation on TV with older characters."