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Friday, May 31, 2013
NewsBusters Misleads on Cross-Dressing Superhero Cartoon
Topic: NewsBusters

A May 29 NewsBusters post by Randy Hall carries thet headline "Transvestite Superhero Cartoon to Debut on Children’s Network The Hub." The cartoon in question is "SheZow," in which a boy gains superpowers by wearing a ring that transforms him into the title character, which is defined by a female-tailored costume.

Since the lead character doesn't derive much pleasure from having to wear the female outfit and has no interest in changing genders -- and indeed remains a boy while in the SheZow costume -- he's not a "transvestite," as Hall's headline claims. It's cross-dressing, which has been a comedy staple since forever. Bugs Bunny? Tootsie? Bosom Buddies? Apparently none of those ring a bell for Hall.

(Interestingly, the URL for the item indicates that Hall did originally, and correctly, use "cros-dressing" in the headline, but it was changed to "transvestite" somewhere along the line.)

Hall plays things mostly straight in trying to explain the show's premise, but he does get snarky at the end:

Despite the strange, bizarre premise, [Hub chief executive Margaret] Loesch is maintaining a positive attitude about the series, speculating that if “SheZow” is a hit, the channel and its toy partner Hasbro can start merchandising her white go-go boots and her ring.

“We'll see, won't we?” she asked.

No, we probably won't.

Said like someone who has never seen what he's criticizing.

As clueless as Hall is about the cartoon, perhaps we can thank the deity of our choice that the MRC's Culture & Media Institute, with its open hostility toward transgenders, did not handle this item.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:04 PM EDT

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