While you might have expected much outcry over the introduction of a gay character into the traditionalist world of Riverdale, reaction to Archie Comics’s Kevin Keller has been overwhelmingly positive. But Archie has heedlessly kept hurtling down the highway, hellbent for tolerance, going further and further until it seemed inevitable they would rouse a bear somewhere: Kevin got his own series and even his own wedding issue, one of those flash forwards in which he marries a doctor who helped him recover from injuries sustained in the Iraq war.
Well, let your faith in the bigotry of humanity be restored: a pressure group is threatening a boycott of Toys ‘r’ Us over carrying the offending comic. Here’s what the group, One Million Moms, told its constituency:
Select Toys 'R' Us stores are now selling 'Archie' comic books with a same-sex wedding displayed on the front cover. The front cover reads "Just Married" with two men marrying and one is wearing a service uniform. This comic book is being sold in select stores across the country. One example is the Queensbury, NY location in the upstate New York area.
Toys 'R' Us employees do not actually set up the displays; they leave this up to the vendor, but they should be aware of the merchandise being sold in their stores nonetheless. These comic books are sold at the front checkout counters so they are highly visible to employees, managers, customers and children. Unfortunately, children are now being exposed to same-sex marriage in a toy store. This is the last place a parent would expect to be confronted with questions from their children on topics that are too complicated for them to understand. Issues of this nature are being introduced too early and too soon, which is becoming extremely common and unnecessary.
A trip to the toy store turns into a premature discussion on sexual orientation and is completely uncalled for. Toys 'R' Us should be more responsible in the products they carry.
Hopefully someone has warned these innocent tots not listen to the news on TV or google for their paper on Rick Santorum—danger is everywhere these days.
One Million Moms has been getting a lot of pixels of late for their many calls for action and condemnation. They threatened to boycott JC Penney after the chain chose openly gay Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson….with little effect. The DeGeneres ad campaign is rolling out as planned and JC Penney still sells crappy brown polyester pants.
In a matter that perhaps hit a little too close to home, the group also has expressed dismay over a racy Liquid Plumr commercial in which a bored woman daydreams about two handsome men coming to the house to unclog her pipes. Although one guesses that some members of this Million Mom coalition might be familiar with this sort of pastime—daydreaming, you filthy monkey!— the group nonetheless issued a call to arms:
Liquid-Plumr presents two sexy plumbers in their new commercial. The Clorox Company introduces the Liquid-Plumr Double Impact Snake and Gel System in this ad which is full of sexual innuendos as well. They are attempting to use sex to sell a product to unclog drains.
Well, I never! Sex is being used to sell a product! Hopefully they didn’t use GoDaddy to register their domain! In fact the website goes on and onfor 29 pages of things they don’t like, from Levis commercials to the animated show Allen Gregory to Dancing With the Stars. They also claim to have gotten The Playboy Club canceled, so you know, perhaps there is a secret purpose to this group.
While this does seem to be the best publicized objection to the Archie storyline to date, one wonders if it will have any effect. For their part, Archie’s head honcho Jon Goldwater defends the issue in the above video: “It’s a reflection of what’s going on in the world today. If you get married in Riverdale, Riverdale accepts everybody.”
And that, in our opinion, makes Riverdale a really awesome place to be.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.