Universal Studios halts 'Bill & Ted' show after controversy over gay Superman
(CBR) Responding to accusations of homophobia, and increasing media attention, Universal Studios Hollywood has canceled its "Bill and Ted" Halloween Horror Nights show, which featured a Man of Steel transformed into a mincing gay stereotype.
Part of the theme park’s annual Halloween event, "Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure" was a play in which the title characters are transported to the Land of Oz filled with references to sex and popular culture. According to Vice.com, Bill and Ted are joined in their quest to kill four evil witches by Superman, who’s turned gay after being accidentally sprinkled with fairy dust.
“After becoming gay, Superman’s voice and posture changes,” writes Vice’s Jamie Lee Curtis Taete. “His lips purse, his toes point inward, and his wrists become limp. His new voice sounds like a homophobic uncle doing a drunken impression of Richard Simmons, complete with lisps and frequent use of the word ‘faaaaaaabulous!’”
The depiction apparently goes downhill from there, with the Man of Steel groping his companions and blowing them kisses, and “mistaking” the intentions of General Zod’s order to get on his knees before running off with a lisping Mr. Sulu/”George Takei” to have sex off-stage. According to the website, the production also wades into offensive racial territory with portrayals of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and rapper/singer Nicki Minaj.
After other outlets began to pick up on the Vice report, a Universal Studios spokeswoman told The Advocate on Monday that Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure “is specifically intended to be shocking and satirical in tone, focusing on adult themes. The show lampoons across all areas of our culture and it was not our intention to offend or upset anyone. We know there are a range of opinions on this issue and we will respect them as we consistently review and refine the show’s content.”
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation reached out to the theme park’s parent company NBCUniversal, stating on Tuesday that “this type of content should be removed.”
By the following day, Universal had pulled the plug on the show entirely, announcing on its website, “After thoughtful consideration, Universal Studios Hollywood has made the decision to discontinue production of the Halloween Horror Nights’ "Bill & Ted" show for the remainder of its limited run.”
GLAAD National Spokesperson Wilson Cruz responded to the move, saying, “NBCUniversal has taken quick and strong action regarding this matter and also started a productive dialogue around future "Bill & Ted" programming to ensure that all park visitors can have an enjoyable experience. This decision falls in line with NBCUniversal’s history of including groundbreaking and positive depictions of LGBT people across its brands.”
The "Bill & Ted" show was announced in July as part of a Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Hollywood and Universal Orlando that includes a maze inspired by the third season of "The Walking Dead". The limited-run event began Sept. 20 and continues through November, only without "Bill & Ted".
Copyright © 2014 Comic Book Resources. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
2014 | Drama | RSummary: Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette star in the chonicle of an Texas family that was shot over the course of twelve years. Touching and unique.Director: Richard Linklater
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane
2014 | Comedy | RSummary: Anna Kendrick is a woman whose relationship ends just before the holidays, but her attempt to get her life back on track is derailed by her own self-destructive tendencies.Director: Joe Swanberg
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber
2014 | Thriller | RSummary: This twisted and evilly funny thriller tears apart both marriage and the media as a man (Ben Affleck) becomes a prime suspect in the disappearance of his wife, played to perfection by Rosamund Pike.Director: David Fincher
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Kim Dickens
2014 | Drama | NRSummary: A talented young musician on the brink of super stardom struggles with the pressure of her new-found success.Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Cast: Minnie Driver, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Danny Glover, Jordan Belfi
1994 | Comedy | RSummary: Convenience and video store clerks Dante and Randal are sharp-witted, potty-mouthed and bored out of their minds. So in between needling customers, the counter jockeys play hockey on the roof, visit a funeral home and deal with their love lives.Director: Kevin Smith
Cast: Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith
2004 | | NRSummary: Tessel is determined to give her boyfriend the day of his life by marrying him. But the closer the big moment gets, the more Tessel starts to doubt everything: her dress, her boyfriend, her ex and most of all herself. In the end only one thing is clear: this will be a day to remember.Director: Marcel Visbeen
Cast: Ricky Koole, Martijn Nieuwerf, Anke Engels, Romijn Conen
1994 | Drama | RSummary: Tim Burton plays a kindly man convicted of killing his wife who befriends an old prison inmate played by Morgan Freeman. Burton makes something like a home for himself in prison, until he reveals the ambition he has truly harbored for years.Director: Frank Darabont
Cast: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton
2009 | Comedy | NRSummary: The employees of the parks department of Pawnee, Indiana work out problems with bureaucracy, political conflicts and their own personal shortcomings in the show that cemented Amy Poehler’s star status, and helped define careers for Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Nick Offerman, and Aziz Ansari.Director: Greg Daniels, Michael Schur (creators)
Cast: Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Adam Scott, Chris Pratt
2010 | Horror | RSummary: A drifter acts as mentor to a young man as they navigate zombies and psychos in post-apocalyptic America en route to the promise of New Eden.Director: Jim Mickle
Cast: Connor Paolo, Nick Damici, Kelly McGillis
Let Streaming Genie help you.