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Gender-Bending Crime Fighter Hits Television, Stirs Up Controversy: VIDEO


There's a new TV character in town, a 12-year-old-boy-turned-girl-crime-fighter on Hub's new children's cartoon program, SheZow. Hub, a cable network owned by parent companies Discovery Communications and Hasbro Inc., is hoping their new superhero(ine) will bring in viewers and interest.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

In "SheZow," a 12-year-old boy - named Guy - uses a magic ring to transform himself into a legendary crime fighter. When evi lurks, Guy says, "You go, girl!" and becomes SheZow.

"When I first heard about the show, my reaction was 'Are you out of your minds?'" said Margaret Loesch, chief exeutive of the Hub. "Then I looked at it and thought, 'This is just funny.'"  

Not everyone is as amused as Loesch however. Conservative blog Breitbart tagged "SheZow" with the moniker of "transsexual" and reported:

Nothing says “child-appropriate material” quite like gender-bending underage superheroes...That show follows the adventures of a 12-year-old boy named Guy who uses a magic ring to transform himself into a crime-fighting girl. Yes, you read that correctly. When Guy says the magic words – “You go girl!” – he becomes SheZow, wearing a purple skirt and cape, as well as pink gloves and white boots.

Breitbart also suggests that Loesch "may or may not have been high (and leftist) when she greenlit this project." The New York Daily News reported on GLAAD's response to the conservative backlash:

...a spokesman for GLAAD fired back that criticizing the animated series for "promoting" transgender themes is, well, cartoonish.

 “This Breitbart News article is just a laughable attempt at attention seeking, comparable to Jerry Falwell attacking the Teletubbies, and demonstrates a profound ignorance of transgender people since this show doesn't include any,” said GLAAD’s Rich Ferraro.

"SheZow" represents a departure from the more gender-constricted programming readily available for young children. However, Hub sees the new show as a possible boon to their business, which is currently struggling against juggernauts like Nickelodeon and Disney:

...who knows, maybe if "SheZow" is a hit, Hasbro can start merchandising her white go-go boots, and her ring.

"We'll see, won't we?" Loesch said.

Watch the show's intro, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. If "Breitbart" hates it then it's got to be good.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | May 29, 2013 2:21:22 PM

  2. amen, D.E.

    Breitbart - the dead glutton beloved of GOProud.

    if his "legacy" hates it, it means it's making a pointed statement.

    oh, DARN those lefists with their sense of irony and humour and their acknowledgement of diversity!

    this story will, of course, bring out the insecure hatred in many an Internet Troll. The Good News - they're a bunch of anonymous wimpy ninnies anyway so let them have their elaborately-typed nonsensical rants.

    that's all they've got.

    and this show look hilarious.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | May 29, 2013 2:25:00 PM

  3. Fantastic! Imagine how many transgendered kids will now feel better about themselves having a cartoon superhero on TV just like them?! Bravo/Brava!

    Posted by: Aron | May 29, 2013 2:42:05 PM

  4. DVR set. I'll check it out.

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | May 29, 2013 2:43:37 PM

  5. Just a tad off balance from some accurate critique? This show beginning is so fast, I like how they slip bending in. I thought you took the day off?

    Posted by: Josh | May 29, 2013 2:45:30 PM

  6. A mere 25 years after Japan managed to survive a similar premise in Ranma 1/2 (although the change was involuntary there).

    Posted by: Blake | May 29, 2013 2:59:39 PM

  7. This is somewhat reminiscent of "Ranma 1/2", a Japanese anime series that was produced from 1989 - 1992 and has been hugely popular worldwide for decades. The protagonist would switch genders when exposed to water. Why are these things only issues here? Ridiculous.

    Posted by: Joey | May 29, 2013 3:00:02 PM

  8. Sounds/Looks great. There's enough room for everybody on this planet and I applaud a network that would be so BOLD (haven't we progressed that far yet?) as to introduce a non gender conformative person here in these often very closed-minded United States. The treatment could go either way though, hopefully they will respect people who are trapped in somewhat similar realistic situations and not alienate someone with a possibly already difficult childhood.

    Children today deserve not to have to grow up under the misguided narrow minded judgement of others. Those children who don't like it, won't watch it, enough said. But for the one child it really helps it will mean the world to them. It's cartoons, can't we get a bit less serious.

    To the detractors, I will quote a bit from the newest right wing diatribe "what about the children?", yes the ones NOT currently represented in the media.

    Posted by: Hey Darlin' | May 29, 2013 3:40:09 PM

  9. I'm sorry to say it, but Japan made it wayyyy more naughtier with Ranma 1/2 ...23 years ago !!!

    Posted by: MArk | May 29, 2013 3:40:42 PM

  10. I like the idea of elasticity of characters-but those remarks about marketing the white boots and ring reveal the ugly fact that, like so much, it's a matter of exploitive consumerism.

    Posted by: gregorybrown | May 29, 2013 3:43:38 PM

  11. Gotta love a female superhero with a long pink laser weapon and a pink penis-shaped car....

    Posted by: Vint | May 29, 2013 4:09:28 PM

  12. I can't help but wonder if anyone would be so upset if it were a little girl
    playing at being Superman. I don't totally agree with either side that this is necessarily a trans issue. Back in the 80s macho guys I looked up to played the female characters of the arcade game "Street Fighter" unabashedly. The fact that it's so taboo for a male (child) to emulate a female, so polarizing, says a lot more to me about the state of women in this country than any other issue.

    To be writing or talking about Breirbart--in any context--is a waste of time.

    Posted by: bge | May 29, 2013 4:12:44 PM

  13. I do have to giggle at the idea of a bunch of 12-year-olds who watch this show running around playing and yelling to each other, "You go, girl!"

    Posted by: ripper | May 29, 2013 4:16:34 PM

  14. If you hadn't post the video I woulda thought it was fake news

    Posted by: Felix | May 29, 2013 4:41:02 PM

  15. Although this show has nothing to do with gay people or gay kids, I will note that it is a guaranteed failure.

    Who is this going to appeal to? Boys have no interest in watching a show about how a boy transforms into a girl to do interesting things. Even boys who could enjoy a show about a badass female hero will flee from a show like this. Girls won't identify with the main character, because "in real life" that character is a boy.

    Even if this show was marketed to the tiny fraction of 1 percent of kids who might identify as "trans" this still wouldn't be very appealing, since "trans" people don't flip a switch and change their sex and then flip a switch again and switch back.


    Posted by: Dana | May 29, 2013 4:42:04 PM

  16. "Boys have no interest in watching a show about how a boy transforms into a girl to do interesting things."


    Posted by: ripper | May 29, 2013 5:21:41 PM

  17. It looks like it has the potential to be interesting and funny, which makes me think it has a slim chance of succeeding, at least in the US. It looks almost *designed* to get criticism from ALL sides, the FRC types who will claim they're trying to turn your son into a "sissy," and humorless PC types who will claim it's an affront to trans issues or something similar. At some point the makers will probably just throw up their hands and say "Oh, fvck it!"

    Posted by: Caliban | May 29, 2013 5:56:33 PM

  18. i think it looks great

    Posted by: reality | May 29, 2013 6:06:01 PM

  19. As opposed to truly trans, it seems more like a kid's version of such film comedies as "Switch" or "Goodbye Charlie" where this very male boy will now learn things in the guise of a girl.

    Posted by: Rexford | May 29, 2013 6:28:08 PM

  20. A mere 25 years after Japan managed to survive a similar premise in Ranma 1/2 (although the change was involuntary there).

    Posted by: Blake | May 29, 2013 2:59:39 PM

    Let us not forget Sailor Moon with the Sailor Stars they were men but when they became crimefighters they turned female.

    Posted by: Walter | May 29, 2013 8:35:30 PM

  21. “ Who is this going to appeal to? ”

    Perhaps the older and hipper market that has more $$ to spend on advertiser’s products? Perhaps a young adult market who watch animated shows like “Archer” or “Unsupervised”?

    Although you can’t seem to understand their marketing strategy, trust me--they have one. Decisions to air shows like this are never made on a whim.

    Posted by: StudioTodd | May 29, 2013 10:14:19 PM

  22. Thank you Walter! I was about to say the same thing!

    This looks like it can be fun. But really? Won't appeal to boys? So in order for children to enjoy a show, they have to identify with the main character? I'll write Hannah Barbera and Warner Bros. and tell them that Bugs Bunny and the Smurfs aren't appealing to young boys, as well as Nickelodeon with Spongebob. If the show and the content is entertaining, than it doesn't matter if the boy turns into a girl, or vice versa. Hell, Mulan was considered a blockbuster, and the entirety of the movie played on themes of cross dressing and gender identity.

    Posted by: Robert | May 29, 2013 10:48:58 PM

  23. Sorry, but with the recent changes in the Boys Scouts policy, this cartoon is too much too soon. Many in the creative professions don't understand how effective social change comes about. Anything pertaining to children should be left alone for a while in order to give mainstream people a chance to "catch up" to the more progressive segment of society. People are just getting used to seeing shows about gay life and accepting the reality of marriage equality. But even people inclined to be tolerant tend to get "red state" when it comes to what children are allowed to do or be exposed to. Now we'll have social conservatives carrying on about children being exposed to "the gay lifestyle" on scouting trips and of TV shows designed to make them sympathetic to the transgendered.

    Yeah, I know. I'm spoiling the party. But what's more important? Shouldn't the focus be on marriage, and job rights, and inheritance issues? Take care of the big stuff first. This is where you're likely to get support most easily. Even when I opposed most gay rights issues I didn't want to see people getting fired or thrown out of their homes for being gay.

    Mainstream people don't need to be pushed so far as to accept transgendered cartoon characters for their children. It's taking an unnecessary risk and inviting backlash.

    Posted by: Mary | May 29, 2013 11:25:18 PM

  24. @Mary

    Don't like it, don't watch it. I think it will be a hit despite bigoted, ignorant, overprotective parents.

    Posted by: Travis | May 29, 2013 11:51:45 PM

  25. Robert - Boys can accept a film or show with badass girl as the hero. It is riskier, but under certain conditions, it can work. For it to work, the girl must be attractive to the boy audience. The boys are not identifying with her; they are viewing her as the kind of girl - simultaneously badass and attractive - that they would like to have in their own lives. That is why Mulan and Buffy worked.

    If the heroine is really a boy who transforms into a girl and then transforms back, there can be no unconflicted attraction and at the same time the boys can't identify with the character. Since they don't want to be him/her and they can't feel attracted to him/her, there is no appeal. If this generates any response from young males, it will likely be a confused discomfort followed by disinterest. Boys will flee from this.

    Posted by: Dana | May 30, 2013 1:43:55 AM

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