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Open letter to Warner Brothers

To Warner Brothers and the creators and producers of “Smallville”:

Throughout the history of Hollywood, homosexual characters and homosexual behavior have been portrayed as subnormal, against the mainstream, and in many cases evil. You did nothing to subvert this horrible image of gays and lesbians when you took Tina Greer, a returning villain on your wildly popular sitcom “Smallville” and made her a psychotic killer lesbian (episode airing 1-14-03).

In doing so you successfully sent a message to your viewers that homosexuality is evil and must be stopped by any means possible. Your portrayal of the character of Tina Greer as an obsessive stalker capable of murder is exactly the kind of cultural stereotype that led to the paranoia and fear responsible for the murder of Matthew Shepard.

The AOL/Time-Warner Social Responsibility Statement (http://www.aoltimewarner.com/corporate_citizenship/social_responsibility.adp) declares in part that to be successful you must “act with integrity and contribute to the common good.” As a dominant member of the mainstream media Warner Brothers has a responsibility to its viewing audience to do just that; yet in featuring a psychotic villain as your first textually gay character on “Smallville,” it has instead delivered a resounding slap in the face to the gay community and its supporters, who comprise a vast part of the “Smallville” viewership. The negative portrayal and violent death of the lesbian villain totally undermined the valuable opportunity you have on this show to portray gay relationships and subtext in a positive light.

You can do much, much better.

Sincerely,

Aja Romano
Bloomington, Indiana
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