Ignoring the protests of comic book fans and other killjoys, The Big Bang Theory aired an episode tonight with a controversial joke about women and comics.
Despite the completely reasonable and metered response to a commercial that joked that women don't go to comic book stores, which included multiple articles decrying it as a misogynistic attack on equality, lots of Facebook tattle-taling by spineless internet reporters, and, presumably, a fair amount of crying in the shower, the sitcom Big Bang Theory went ahead with plans tonight to air an episode of the show with the joke left intact. In the episode, characters Penny, Bernadette, and Blossom, all clearly female, go to a comic book shop and also engage in a debate about which characters could lift Thor's hammer. The scene was meant to be ironic, implying that comic book fans are predominantly socially awkward males, which we all know to be completely untrue, as comic book fandom is actually composed of a utopian mix of all races, genders, and sexualities.
The Outhouse has taken the liberty of writing a script for Big Bang Theory that we have deemed to be totally non-offensive to anyone, and we hope that the show will consider running episodes with stories like this in the future, instead of the irresponsible hate-shows that they normally air.
Scene opens on an exterior shot of Leonard, Sheldon, and Penny's apartment building. Cut to the inside of Leonard and Sheldon's apartment, where Leonard is sitting on the couch and Sheldon is typing on his laptop at the computer desk.
Leonard: What do you feel like doing today, Sheldon?
Sheldon: I thought I might watch the football game on the television.
Leonard: You watch football, Sheldon?
Sheldon: Of course I do. Lots of regular people watch football, and scientists who read comic books are just regular people.
Leonard: That's true. I think I'll watch the game with you.
Sheldon: That would be cool, bro.
There is a knock at the door.
Sheldon: Come in!
Raj and Howard enter the apartment. Howard is not wearing a garish outfit that hasn't been in fashion since the seventies. For their part, the other men are also wearing normal clothes, the kind that adults wear, instead of comic book branded t-shirts.
Raj (in a nondescript accent): Hey guys!
Leonard: Raj? What happened to your accent?
Raj: I don't speak like that anymore. Despite being of Indian ancestry, there's no reason why I shouldn't speak with a plain, unidentifiable American accent.
Leonard: That's true.
Howard: So are we going to the comic book store today?
Sheldon: Do you want to? I was going to watch a football game today, as I do enjoy sports, but I do enjoy comic books as well to a certain extent, so I would be comfortable with either, as well a myriad number of other things normal people enjoy doing.
Raj: I was thinking the same thing.
Leonard: Should we ask Penny, Bernadette, and Blossom if they'd like to join us?
Howard: That seems like a good idea. As women, they're equally as likely as we are to be interested in comic books, and it would be completely normal for them to come with us to the comic book store.
Leonard: Great. I'll give Penny a call.
Cut to Penny's apartment. Penny is wearing a well-fitting shirt that doesn't expose too much cleavage. She is reading a book and drinking a glass of water. The phone rings.
Split screen with Leonard speaking on the phone on one side and Penny on the other.
Leonard: Hi Penny. The guys and I were thinking about going down the comic book shop and buying some comics.
Penny: Oh, that sounds nice. It's been several weeks since we last did that, as all of us, including me, are moderately interested in comic books, just the same as regular people are interested in other regular things.
Leonard: Exactly. So you'll come with us?
Penny: Sure. I'll call Bernadette and Blossom and tell them to meet us there.
Whooshing noise as we cut to the interior of the comic book shop, where a culturally diverse mixture of men and women are calmly browsing through the merchandise. The door opens and the gang walks in.
Sheldon: My! There are an equal amount of men and women in this shop right now.
Howard: That's hardly unusual. There are basically an even number of men and women in the world, so it makes sense that the percentage of them interested in a socially acceptable hobby like comic books would also be roughly even.
Sheldon: That's a good point, Howard.
The group flips through some of the recently released comic books, but, strangely, only ones by DC Comics.
Bernadette: What comics are you guys planning on buying today?
Leonard: I was thinking I might pick up the latest issue of Batman.
Penny: I will probably also buy a superhero comic, because that's something women do.
Raj: What about you, Sheldon?
Sheldon: I'm thinking I might buy an independent comic book, because comic books are not just adolescent escapist fantasy, but can, in fact, also be mature literature.
Blossom: Yes. People enjoy reading them for entertainment and information, just like many other mediums, and not because they suffer from severe cases of arrested development.
Howard: They also don't turn their interest into an unhealthy obsession, endlessly debating obscure continuity points on internet message boards.
Blossom: No, they don't.
Sheldon: Isn't this nice.
The gang purchases some comic books, making small talk with some of the other customers but not causing any kind of fuss, because it's not at all unusual for a group of friends including women to be in a comic book shop. Afterward, the group engages in a frank discussion of scientific theory that is informative to the viewing audience and demonstrates a knowledge and respect of the subject matter.
Now, wouldn't that have been much better than the episode that aired? No one could possibly be offended by that, which is, in our opinion, a hallmark of good comedy.
If you want to stand up for equality and show that comic book fans are a multi-racial, multi-gender group of people who should never, ever be mocked in any way, please send emails to the Outhouse at ComicsAreSeriousBusiness @ gmail.com. We will gather evidence of this support and then we will compose a calm and rational letter to the producers of the Big Bang Theory, letting them know that we would prefer if they would treat comic book fans and women with more respect in the future.
Written or Contributed by Jude Terror
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