July 5, 2006, - 3:58 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Many readers have asked for a link to the video of my Wednesday Night (last week) appearance on MSNBC’s “Scarborough Country” to discuss my review of “Superman Returns.” Still looking for a link to video, but in the meantime here’s the transcript:
The new Superman movie hits theaters tonight, but hold on: Are the P.C. police beating him to it and are some fans saying the one-time man of steel is just not what it used to be? What is Hollywood doing with this American icon? . . .
SCARBOROUGH: The man of steel is back on the big screen tonight as “Superman Returns” opens all over America. Now, we’ve seen a lot of different supermen through the years, from the comic books in the 1940s to the mega-budget movie version of today. But is the latest edition of the ultimate superhero a less masculine imitation of the original? Have the P.C. police found enough kryptonite to turn Superman into a wimp?
Now to talk about it is columnist and radio talk show Debbie Schlussel.
Debbie, nice shirt. You’ve seen “Superman Returns.”
DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Thank you. Yes.
SCARBOROUGH: You think it’s an attack on our values. You think that Superman is a super-wimp? Why?
SCHLUSSEL: Well, first of all, he has gone away for five years to find himself and visit Krypton. In the meantime, Lex Luthor has been released from prison because he wasn’t there to testify against him, and he’s fathered a child with single mother Lois Lane.
And not only is Lois Lane a single mother, but she’s a slut, because she thinks the father is somebody else who she also is sleeping with. I don’t think that those are good values or a good message to send to the children to whom this movie is being very heavily marketed.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, and you also take issue with the fact that they took away the line, “Truth, justice and the American way.” Talk about that.
SCHLUSSEL: Well, they took it away, and yet the movie studio, Warner Brothers Pictures, is still selling posters that do say, “Truth, justice and the American way,” and feature the American flag. You don’t see any of that in the movie.
They do mention truth and justice, but I guess it’s the neo-slacker superhero way, because that’s basically what Superman has become, and he’s been toned down in a lot of ways in terms of his masculinity. His muscles, a lot of them are gone. Even the Superman cape and uniform doesn’t have bright red anymore! It’s a muted burgundy tone that you’d probably see in “Men’s Vogue.”
SCARBOROUGH: So you’re telling me Superman is wearing a muted burgundy cape?
SCHLUSSEL: That’s right. It’s a muted burgundy cape. The “S” is muted burgundy. It’s kind of a dingy, you know, “Vogue” kind of fashion you’d see on one of their androgynous models. And Superman really isn’t the same Superman that you saw in the Christopher Reeve and even the Dean Cain and George Reeve impersonations.
What he is, is kind of a co-star. The movie really should be entitled “Lois Lane’s Feelings” co-starring Superman, because it’s more about Lois Lane being upset that Superman left her for five years. It’s about Lois Lane making it very clear that she’s against marriage. She’s living with somebody who she believes is the father of her child, but they make a point Jimmy Olsen tells Clark Kent she’s against marriage, she’s too busy with her career, she’s riding the space shuttle.
In a lot of ways, there’s a very strong message to young boys and girls who are seeing the Slurpees at 7-Eleven that have Superman all over them and other products that single motherhood is glamorous, you win a Pulitzer Prize. She’s won a Pulitzer Prize that is for an article entitled “Why the World Doesn’t Need Superman.” It’s kind of like something you’d read in the “Daily Planet’s” real-life version of the “New York Times” about why Al Qaeda is great.
SCARBOROUGH: Alrighty, Debbie.
SCHLUSSEL: It’s kind of the same thing.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Debbie, we’ll have to leave it there. Thank you so much.
SCHLUSSEL: Thank you.
SCARBOROUGH: I can’t wait to go see the movie, and judge for myself, and get one of those t-shirts. Thanks for being with us.
SCHLUSSEL: Thank you.
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