This weekend, the cast of Supergirl sat down with Josh Horowitz of MTV News at San Diego Comic-Con. In an interview, the cast gives a musical recap of season 2. During the clip, actor Jeremy Jordan — who plays Winslow "Winn" Schott, Jr.on the show — made a joke that hasn't gone over well when he addressed some of the show's shippers of their favorite imaginary couple: Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) and Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath).
In the clip, Jordan directly comments to shippers that focus on Kara and Lena, singing along that "They're only friends! They're not gonna get together, and they're only friends." Of course, this was all meant jokingly — but that doesn't negate the real harm and impact a comment like that has on LGBTQ+ fans of the show.
Fans of a show will sometimes create the representation that they crave, particularly for LGBTQ+ representation. It doesn't have to be canon, or written explicitly into the show — shipping is a way for fans to share the love they have for the show while also solving some of the bumps along the road when it comes to how representation is handled.
Jordan has since taken to Instagram to issue an apology about the video, writing, "...please understand that my comment was simply one part of a silly recap of the show. We love [all] of our fans and encourage you to enjoy the characters and relationships in [whatever] way [you] choose." In a second note, he continues, writing, "I'm going to try and be better. I'm gonna make mistakes. I want to tell every one of you I'm sorry [that] I hurt you. I would go back in time and redo my recap if I could... I realize the issue of homophobia is bigger than any note I could ever write... All I can do is be better."
Representation for LGBTQ+ fans is becoming more mainstream, thankfully. Films like Moonlight show that LGBTQ+ individuals who are also people of color need representation as well, despite Hollywood's continued denial that representation matters. Shows like Steven Universe and Orange Is the New Black have begun to show more variety of romantic couples that aren't heterosexual, but there is still work to do to improve representation across the board.
Representation is an important part of consuming media. When we see reflections of ourselves on screen, they help to reaffirm our own identities and can inspire us to be our best selves — which is not an easy task for everyone.
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