Political Flavors

Archie Comics CEO Imagines A World Without Bigotry

Posted in Editorials on March 1st, 2012

You might have heard that the “One Million Moms” have proposed a boycott of Toys ‘R’ Us because they are carrying the issue of Life With Archie that depicts the wedding of Kevin Keller, a gay character, to another man.

I’ve read this issue – being a fan of Archie Comics since I was a kid, and all sexuality is written out of the gay characters. Kevin loves his husband, that is clear – but they do not even kiss, at their own wedding. This is in contrast to the straight characters who are frequently depicted hugging and kissing. I understand why Archie Comics left out even a chaste smooch, as it still shows their wariness about the storyline.

However, any doubts I had to the commitment they have made were gone when I read this statement:

“As I’ve said before, Riverdale is a safe, welcoming place that does not judge anyone,” he wrote. “It’s an idealized version of America that will hopefully become reality someday. We’re sorry the American Family Association/OneMillionMoms.com feels so negatively about our product, but they have every right to their opinion, just like we have the right to stand by ours. Kevin Keller will forever be a part of Riverdale, and he will live a happy, long life free of prejudice, hate and narrow-minded people.”

I love this because he’s both standing up for what is right, and pointing out the ridiculousness of getting so upset about a cartoon. It delights me to know that he’s holding it over their head that they can’t hurt Kevin Keller – because he’s a fictional character and that they would rather tell his story than ever depict people as hateful as the American Family Association. The AFA are the people who do not belong in idyllic Riverdale, not Kevin and his husband. This is a beautiful message to send out to everyone, especially any young LGBT fans of Archie – You matter, and we see you as an important part of our community.