Judge me! My opinion’s not about the show’s content, either, which is wondawful (a portmanteau of wonderful and awful, meant to describe things that are so terrible they become wonderful. Example: MTV’s Teen Wolf).
Teen Wolf is currently my guilty pleasure because it’s dumb, it’s plot is magically basic AND over-thought, and pretty people have lots of sex between cheeseball action sequences, one-liners that make me feel like a good writer, and other sex scenes because this thing is basically a TV version of Barely Legal.
My opinion, though, is about MTV’s marketing campaign, which went through painful lengths to point out the show’s openly gay character, Danny.
Yep. Danny. He had a really memorable moment in episode 2, when other characters referenced him without him being present (though they mentioned his gayness!!!!), and another memorable moment in episode 3 when he was sitting at lunch with the other characters but was not referenced, referred to by name, had no lines and remained out of frame so often that the actor didn’t even get a credit for the episode.
Thumbing through the internet to find out what the deal was, I found only MTV’s press efforts to remind teens that there would finally be an openly gay high schooler on TV. Or, at least, on MTV. Yes, in this wasteland of school-appropriate soft core, a bright and shining beam of equality!
Why I’m insulted, besides the obvious, is that the show already has one anti-gay snafu under its belt. Colton Haynes, the superpretty lacrosse jock (aherm), jumped through some legal hoops to try and bury photos of him in XY Magazine (actually a Barely Legal-type for gay boys, as opposed to Teen Wolf, which is pretending not to be a Barely Legal-type for gay boys). Those photos show him making out with another guy. And enjoying it.
Now, I’m of the opinion that Colton Haynes is the prettiest thing in the closet since R. Kelly’s wife, but I’m also of the opinion that his sexuality is his business. He has his reasons for not coming out, I’m sure. I could make a few up for him, if I cared. And he also handled the whole ordeal pretty badly, but MTV handled it worse. They put him in as a mouthpiece for their haphazard, half-assed non-specific anti-bullying campaign (Love is Louder, which is such a knock-off of It Gets Better that they even share the same syllabic rhythm). Then they drew everyone’s attention to the invisible gay character on their new hit show.
They didn’t fix anything. They didn’t address Haynes’ legal action, they didn’t commit to a gay character they mentioned specifically to draw in a gay audience, and they didn’t, above all else, have said character make out with Colton Haynes, which is the only thing they can do to make up for banking on a community of teens who already have to deal with their sexuality being over-exposed, awkward, and dangerous.
So make Colton Haynes make out with Danny. Or, like, do something that actually helps the gay community.