Stop Marginalizing Female Viewers!
This petition had 17,419 supporters
Imagine if your favourite show was cancelled because you weren't part of the intended audience.
More specifically, because you're a girl.
We've all watched shows that made us fall in love with every aspect of it. The plot, the characters, the dialogue; everything makes us more and more obsessed. The show has great ratings on TV, and there are plenty of fans throughout the world that tune in every week to catch a new episode.
Now try to think how angry you'd be if that show was cancelled. Just because the network decided that they only want to cater to boys, and they saw that the fanbase is dominantly female. This is something that the American TV company Cartoon Network is doing.
Cartoon Network is a well-known company, home to some great cartoons and classics. But recently, plenty of good quality shows have been cancelled because the network doesn't want girls to watch their shows, since according to them, girls don't buy the show's toys and merchandise.
Shows like Young Justice, Green Lantern: the Animated Series, and Tower Prep among others, were given the ax because Cartoon Network saw that the fans were mostly girls, without giving a proper reason to the creators of the shows, citing vague reasons such as "lack of toy sales"
Paul Dini, executive producer for the show Tower Prep, and producer in shows like Batman: the Animated Series as well as a score of other shows, talked last week in a podcast Fatman on Batman with Kevin Smith, and he mentioned that Cartoon Network just wasn't at all interested in having girls watch their shows.
You can listen to the entire podcast above, or just the clip in question, posted by helpsaveourheroes on Tumblr.
Transcript by agelfeygelach on Tumblr.
DINI: “They’re all for boys ’we do not want the girls’, I mean, I’ve heard executives say this, you know, not Ryan(?) but at other places, saying like, ‘We do not want girls watching this show.”
SMITH: “WHY? That’s 51% of the population.”
DINI: “They. Do. Not. Buy. Toys. The girls buy different toys. The girls may watch the show—”
SMITH: “So you can sell them T-shirts if they don’t—A: I disagree, I think girls buy toys as well, I mean not as many as f***ing boys do, but, B: sell them something else, man! Don’t be lazy and be like, ‘well I can’t sell a girl a toy.’ Sell ‘em a T-shirt, man, sell them f***ing umbrella with the f***ing character on it, something like that. But if it’s not a toy, there’s something else you could sell ‘em! Like, just because you can’t figure out your job, don’t kill chances of, like, something that’s gonna reach an audi—that’s just so self-defeating, when people go, like… these are the same fuckers who go, like, ‘Oh, girls don’t read comics, girls aren’t into comics.’ It’s all self-fulfilling prophecies. They just make it that way, by going like, ‘I can’t sell ‘em a toy, what’s the point?’
DINI: “That’s the thing, you know I hate being Mr. Sour Grapes here, but I’ll just lay it on the line: that’s the thing that got us cancelled on Tower Prep, honest-to-God was, like, ‘we need boys, but we need girls right there, right one step behind the boys’—this is the network talking—’one step behind the boys, not as smart as the boys, not as interesting as the boys, but right there.’ And then we began writing stories that got into the two girls’ back stories, and they were really interesting. And suddenly we had families and girls watching, and girls really became a big part of our audience, in sort of like they picked up that Harry Potter type of serialized way, which is what The Batman and [indistinct]’s really gonna kill. But, the Cartoon Network was saying, ‘F***, no, we want the boys’ action, it’s boys’ action, this goofy boy humor we’ve gotta get that in there. And we can’t—’ and I’d say, but look at the numbers, we’ve got parents watching, with the families, and then when you break it down—’Yeah, but the—so many—we’ve got too many girls. We need more boys.’”
SMITH: “That’s heart-breaking.”
DINI: “And then that’s why they cancelled us, and they put on a show called Level Up, which is, you know, goofy nerds fighting CG monsters. It’s like, ‘We don’t want the girls because the girls won’t buy toys.’ We had a whole… we had a whole, a merchandise line for Tower Prep that they s***canned before it ever got off the launching pad, because it’s like, ‘Boys, boys, boys. Boys buy the little spinny tops, they but the action figures, girls buy princesses, we’re not selling princesses.’”
It's angering to see that, despite being in the 21st Century, girls and boys are still being separated into the princess and superheroes categories respectively. It's even more angering to see a company with such a reputation and world presence as Cartoon Network, behave like 8-year old boys who are afraid of girls' cooties, and make executive decisions based on that.
I think it's more than time to take action against this injustice, and to make Cartoon Network grow up, and accept that TV shows are for boys AND girls, no matter their age.
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