As a pop culture site, the A.V. Club is dutifully prepared for fan backlash. Especially when a beloved pop cultural character, film, or series introduces something new that’s seen as threatening—to certain people. Most notably, those fanboys and right-wing professional media outrage artists who trot out the exact same arguments, insults, and slurs whenever, say an iconic movie franchise suggests that ladies might bust ghosts, too. Or a comics company decides that it’s time for Captain America to be Black, Spider-Man to be Black and Latino, or—most terrifying (to some)—an established character to come out as anything but straight.
Amber Ruffin is also plugged into the pop cultural current, and, on Friday’s Amber Ruffin Show, the host took on the latest comic book announcement to cause a certain population to essentially have little mini hate-strokes. That, of course, is DC’s revelation that Superman is bisexual, a development that noted nerd Ruffin examined from all sides, ruminated upon, and then formulated the thoughtful assessment to all this all-too-predictable knee-jerk hoopla, “Bitch, please.” (It’s a new segment, sure to crop up with great frequency.)
Unlike, say those Fox News types who’ve seized upon DC’s announcement in outrage that the world continues to not conform to their narrow-minded worldview, Ruffin came armed with bulletproof facts. For one thing, most such blowhards have never actually read a Superman comic in their lives (or, if they did, they completely missed the point), and don’t realize that the Superman we’re talking about is actually Jon Kent, the super-powered son of Clark Kent and longtime love, Lois Lane. Beyond that, Ruffin upended the logic of those actual fanboys (who’ve also missed the point of Supes over the years), who claim that this nuanced piece of fictional character development is “ruining their childhood.” As Ruffin put it (after scoffing a dismissive, “Bitch, please”), “If a comic book character being bisexual ruined your childhood, your childhood was trash to begin with.” Ruffin also pointed out the hypocrisy of those decrying Superman’s kid being bisexual but pounding out years’ worth of erotic fan fiction about Superman (who is an actual space alien) hooking up with a human women.
Lastly, to the oh-so-tired “gay agenda” conspiracy bigots out there, Ruffin noted, “With all of the power of my ancestors behind me—Bitch, please.” Representation matters, and in comics maybe more than anywhere, since, as Ruffin put it eloquently:
There is a child out there who is scared, and not feeling seen. And they don’t see themselves represented on TV, and they can be made to feel lesser because of who they are. One day, that child is going to pick up a comic book and see an iconic character that’s associated with strength, honesty, and America, and they’re gonna see that that person is just like them.
See, now that’s somebody who gets Superman.