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DC Shocker: Company Apologizes for Harley Quinn Suicide Contest

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LOLtron

Rain Partier

Postby LOLtron » Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:07 pm

DC Shocker: Company Apologizes for Harley Quinn Suicide Contest

After exhausting all possible avenues to shift the blame, DC is forced to publicly admit they were wrong.



Source: Robot 6

Here at The Outhouse, we don't want to beat a dead horse (haha okay we can't say that with a straight face), but it looks like this story requires one final update. When DC, as part of a talent search contest, initially released an out of context script for an upcoming Harley Quinn comic which featured Quinn naked in a bathtub, about to commit suicide, it sparked a week of controversy that saw DC dragged through the mud on the internet, in the blogosphere, and even in the mainstream media. As fans and pundits raged, DC did their best to place the blame anywhere but on themselves: on the fans, on the media, and on writer Jimmy Palmiotti. We're not going to recap it all again - you can read about it in great detail right here.

The heat on DC got so bad that yesterday, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, American Psychiatric Association, and National Alliance on Mental Illness all got together and released a joint statement condemning DC:

We believe that instead of making light of suicide, DC Comics could have used this opportunity to host a contest looking for artists to depict a hopeful message that there is help for those in crisis. This would have been a positive message to send, especially to young readers.

 

The Outhouse has made our position clear on this. While we do believe that, when handled well, no subject should be off limits for addressing in art, and yes, even DC Comics are "art." The problem was always DC taking this single page of a script, removing it from the greater context of the book, and then blasting it out to the public, many of which have no frame of reference to understand Harley Quinn's nature, the reputations of creators Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, or even comic books themselves. Might the script have been acceptable when published in its intended format? Nobody ever got the chance to find out. It was a boneheaded move that just one of DC's paid PR representatives could have prevented if they gave it a moment's thought before publishing.

Well, it looks like DC has been forced to agree, as they issued a statement today (emphasis ours):

The purpose of the talent search was to allow new artists an opportunity to draw a single page of a 20-page story. True to the nature of the character, the entire story is cartoony and over-the-top in tone, as Harley Quinn breaks the 4th Wall and satirizes the very scenes she appears in. DC Entertainment sincerely apologizes to anyone who may have found the page synopsis offensive and for not clearly providing the entire context of the scene within the full scope of the story.

 

Was that so hard? DC, you could have said that last Thursday and avoided most of this.

So, did DC actually learn a lesson here? Well, we doubt they really believe they did anything wrong. However, the fact that they were forced to apologize means that they recognized that they could not simply browbeat and bully people into shutting up, sending Jim Lee out onto Twitter to condescendingly tell fans how wrong they were for being offended. Whether the tone and intention of the script was misinterpreted or not, DC was forced to admit that the reason is that DC failed to supply the context. This marks a departure from DC's usual strategy of simply mocking or ignoring their detractors, and it's probably a good thing.

Of course, whether making light of suicide is something they should be doing, and whether releasing another Harley Quinn comic, on September 11th no less, that allegedly depicts Quinn as a grim and gritty terrrist who blows up buildings and murders children (we haven't read it and cannot comment, but it has been sent to us multiple times in the last few days), contradicts their claims that Quinn, in the Nu52 at least, is a lighthearted, humorous character, is a debate for another day.



Written or Contributed by Jude Terror




READ THIS ARTICLE ON THE FRONT PAGE, HUMANS!
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Tim Hulsizer

FACEBOOKTron

Postby Tim Hulsizer » Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:43 pm

Hooray, the classic non-apology apology! "We don't think it was offensive but we apologize if YOU did." If you don't want to apologize, then don't. I can respect that you are standing firm. But offering up a weak statement & hoping it all blows over is just lame.
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Tintin Quarantino

Rain Partier

Postby Tintin Quarantino » Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:49 pm

The other problem is, the Harley Quinn one-shot out this weekend makes it clear she's an extremely mentally ill person, even self-aware of her fractured psyche, and a mass murdering terrorist. You can compare it to the violence in Loony Tunes cartoons, but the two clearly aren't the same. Bugs Bunny never opens a dialogue with the viewer about his being the victim of abuse and sickly anti-social.
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Erik Knight

FACEBOOKTron

Postby Erik Knight » Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:53 pm

Apology ,bollocks!, read "Detective Comics #23.2 :Harley Quinn"...the world is sick enough than to need childabusefantasyporn dreamed up by the bitter divorcee editorial blokes at DC
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Daniel P Sousa

FACEBOOKTron

Postby Daniel P Sousa » Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:54 pm

"The problem was always DC taking this single page of a script, removing it from the greater context of the book, and then blasting it out to the public, many of which have no frame of reference to understand Harley Quinn's nature, the reputations of creators Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, or even comic books themselves. "

So you're putting the burden of everyone else's ignorance on DC? Why? If you get worked-up about a comic book page without bothering to learn its context, that should be on you!
Can we all, please, stop being so stupid on the internet? DC is doing plenty wrong without us having to come up with this kind of puritanical self-righteous outrage.
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Tintin Quarantino

Rain Partier

Postby Tintin Quarantino » Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:55 pm

I'll just remind you this country was founded on the basis of puritanical self-righteous outrage, sirrah!
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Will Fe

FACEBOOKTron

Postby Will Fe » Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:14 pm

So...DC offends customer base, gets bad 'net press, treats fans with contempt.

DC offends professional organizations with same issue, gets bad mainstream press, and issues appropriate, contrite apology.

Conclusion: DC doesn't give a shit about its fans.

Nuff said, true believers.
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S.F. Jude Terror

OMCTO

Postby S.F. Jude Terror » Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:23 pm

FBtron wrote:"The problem was always DC taking this single page of a script, removing it from the greater context of the book, and then blasting it out to the public, many of which have no frame of reference to understand Harley Quinn's nature, the reputations of creators Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, or even comic books themselves. "

So you're putting the burden of everyone else's ignorance on DC? Why? If you get worked-up about a comic book page without bothering to learn its context, that should be on you!
Can we all, please, stop being so stupid on the internet? DC is doing plenty wrong without us having to come up with this kind of puritanical self-righteous outrage.


This wasn't a comic book page. It was an excerpt from the script of an unfinished comic book, provided without context. There's a difference there, because a lot of work from the writer, artist, editor, and entire team goes into making the finished page, plus that page exists inside a book with twenty-something other pages.

None of that was present here, because some DC employee, either in the publicity department or working through the publicity department, looked at this unfinished page from a script and thought "THIS IS THE ONE TO USE FOR THIS CONTEST THAT WE HOPE WILL GET SHARED ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND COVERED BY THE PRESS."

DC pays PR people to manage the message and public view of their brand, and for those people, this was an epic, epic fail, and one that could have easily been avoided with a little bit of common sense.

So yes, I am saying that, and it's completely rational to do so. Just because you or I or most of the internet comics community have the frame of reference to understand that this page might have been satirical does not mean the rest of the world does, and, unfortunately, the rest of the world was part of the audience for this contest, by DC's design.

To argue about whether or not the page is intrinsically offensive is a distraction. The issue is that the page is EASILY CONSTRUED AS OFFENSIVE when taken out of context, and the fact that this scandal exists and is so large is proof of that. DC should pay me a large salary to look at their press releases before they send them out, because I would have looked at this and said, in about three seconds, "that will cause a controversy."

So creating the page: not necessarily stupid.

Using the page on a very public stage with no context and assuming everyone will just get it: stupid.
User avatar

Draco x

biny little tird

Postby Draco x » Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:44 pm

Don't worry, they'll do something else offensive before being forced to apologize for it very soon. Keep up the good work, Didiocracy! :smt102 :smt102
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Brian Keith Pittman

FACEBOOKTron

Postby Brian Keith Pittman » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:02 pm

It's not our ignorance when the context was completely unavailable at the time. Context only works if it is available, which it wasn't. No context because they didn't give any context. Thus, that's on DC as a company. Get it now? Is this sinking in?
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Brian Keith Pittman

FACEBOOKTron

Postby Brian Keith Pittman » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:03 pm

Sheridan Zabel Rawlings You have my condolences.

MikeinLA

Rorshach Test Subject

Postby MikeinLA » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:07 pm

Gutless.
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Kat_Rocha

Whale Castrato

Postby Kat_Rocha » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:12 pm

Admitting you're wrong is the first step to being a better person. They teach that in Business HR Classes. Perhaps DC execs should take some.
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Chessack

Swedish Pinata of Death

Postby Chessack » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:27 pm

I think the term that best summarizes DC's behavior toward this episode, along with several others recently, is "tone deaf."

They remind me of one of those politicians who is going around the county making speeches and stepping in it in speech after speech.
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Grayson

Outhouse Drafter

Postby Grayson » Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:50 pm

MikeinLA wrote:Gutless.


... :smt017 :smt102

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