I watched only a little bit of the Oscars, mostly because I didn’t really want to watch the Oscars. But it’s hard to miss all the things people talk about afterward. The biggest topics seem to be a) Birdman is good, but maybe it’s not as good as some people say, or maybe it’s better b) Neil Patrick Harris wasn’t that funny, or maybe he was c) it was too white, d) it was very very very white e) etc.
So all of that seems pretty standard. No major surprises. What surprised, and annoyed, and irritated, and flabbergasted me is one of the ideas that seems to have floated out of the mess, which is the concept of “superhero shaming.” Apparently, in addition to the racism, sexism, and classism, the Oscars are guilty of a very bad crime: making fun of superhero movies. And yes, the label of specifically referring to this as “superhero shaming” has happened multiple times.
It’s bad to slut shame, because you are shaming women for their choices, or perceived choices. It’s bad to fat shame or to skinny shame because you are making people feel bad about their bodies.
But superhero shaming?
First of all, superheroes aren’t people. They just literally are not people. They don’t exist in the real world. So let’s consider that. Second, let’s consider that Guardians of the Galaxy, whether you make fun of it or not, has a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes and made $774 billion. Sooooo does it really matter if NPH and Jack Black made jokes at the expense of the guys who made the best (yet least Oscar-friendly) summer movie of 2014?
Now, I’m a superhero fan. Superheroes are great. If you need proof, please note that, over the last five years, at least 50% of this blog has been dedicated to hypothetical superhero films. Guys, I wrote a blog post last Friday analyzing Harvey Dent’s potential corruption… in a movie from seven years ago. That said, let’s put this one behind us quickly.
Perhaps this is an unnecessary blog post, and perhaps I am overreacting. Yes, I believe that shaming is bad, and I believe that bullying is bad. But if someone makes fun of you for liking superheroes, that’s probably one of those situations where you just move on. Because superheroes are awesome.