A Love Letter to The CW Television Network | Creative Writing
by Miles Stebens
DISCLAIMER/CW: This is a piece of creative writing - no one at The CW has been nor will be threatened. This ‘letter’ uses strong language (swearing) and allusion to violence (which has not been and will never be executed).
photo edit by violets-and-fairylights on tumblr.com
Dear The CW,
Et tu, Brute?
What a truly awful thing you’ve done.
I just want to talk. I promise. This will be your first, and only, warning. I will not repeat myself. So, listen closely.
Should I ever have the displeasure of meeting any of you in real life, know this: it’s on sight. I will not be held accountable for my actions. You have brought this upon yourselves. You could have made history, but you chose to remain tiny-minded, money-grubbing, homophobic bigots. That’s on you. Now, you have to deal with the consequences. I suggest you watch your kneecaps.
You see, we are sick and tired of your shit. You have crossed us one too many times, and this time, we refuse to back down. Enough is enough. You have had ample time to decide which side of history you want to stand on. You have made your decision. And we have made ours.
For 12 years, you have ridiculed us. You have told us that we’re delusional, that we’re reading too much into the subtext that you put there so blatantly there is barely any ‘sub’ left. You have silenced us, forbidden us to speak our truth, refused to listen. Well, we will no longer remain silent.
You owe us. For 12 fucking years, we have kept you alive. You wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for our love and passion. Even though we’ve only earned your scorn, we have continued to carry this show on our backs and refused to let go. You know this because you have taken advantage of it. Again and again, you’ve thrown us scraps: enough so as not to starve, not enough to live a healthy life. You have exploited us, turned our love into monetary gain, and you continue to do so. Yet you have recognised our power and our influence. I admit, we were gullible enough to believe, to hope, that you had changed, when you gave us the confession. An ‘I love you’ that was 12 years in the making. You actually made it canon. We rejoiced; we are not crazy. We’ve been right all this time. There is no way you could back down from this, take this back, right?
Oh, but we underestimated your capacity for bullshit. You give us an undeniable homosexual declaration of love, just to immediately kill the character who spoke it. Bury your gays, indeed. He then does not get to appear on screen again, despite this show teaching us that nothing ever really stays dead, not for them; despite explicitly telling us, in the show, mentioning him by name, that he is alive again, that he is back; despite the fact that this character, this man, this actor, is the sole reason for why you’re still kicking and breathing, 15 years after you started. And what’s his thanks? Desolation. Death. Disposal. Thrown away like a toy you no longer wanted to play with. After all, you’d gotten what you wanted: to keep going. Exploit the actor and his fans so we keep coming back, so you can keep fucking us over. And as if all that wasn’t bad enough already, a year later, a year after the show has ended, you have the audacity to tell us that, actually, his confession is ‘up for interpretation’. Never mind the fact that it was written by a queer man, acted, and directed in a decisively queer manner, and everyone directly involved in that particular scene agrees that it is, indeed, queer. Not ‘open for interpretation’. If I have to hear one more time that, ‘this is a piece of fiction, and you can interpret it however you want, unless, of course, you interpret it as queer, in which case, your interpretation is wrong because “this isn’t a show about nonbinary,” and also, you’re disgusting and making everyone uncomfortable,’ so help me God, I will end you. I don’t care who you are; I will find you, and I will fistfight you into next week.
This story isn’t yours anymore, and it hasn’t been for a long time. It’s ours. You do not get to touch it anymore until you have learned to respect it. The thing is: you won’t. You just don’t get it, do you? This isn’t just about a ship; this isn’t just about fictional characters. This is about our lives, our identities, our existence. You have done enough damage. You know, I really don’t understand how you can be so dense; it’s not that difficult to understand. Queer people – we – are not some sex-crazed, paedophilic, incestuous weirdoes. No matter how much you try to make us out to be. We deserve the same representation as cis-gender, heterosexual people. We deserve to be shown in all of our beautiful colours. We deserve to be seen as individuals full of happiness, and joy, and love, and life. We deserve to get our happy ever after. Until you learn that, keep your grubby fingers away from these characters. We will show them the love and tenderness they deserve; we will give them the happy ending they have fought for, for so long. They deserve it because we do, too.
You could have had it all. You could have made history. And, since money is the only language you seem to speak, I’ll come down to your level. Do you have any idea about the success you could have had, had you stopped the queerbaiting and just given us canon queer representation? You’re afraid to turn away the homophobes, to lose their money, but have you imagined the number of fans you would have won in return? All the starved queer people looking for scraps coming to feast at your table and join in the celebrations. Together, we could have enjoyed the most epic love story ever written, accidental as it was, not initially meant to happen, and yet so clearly meant to be. Instead, all we got is the greatest disappointment. And for what? To appease some bigots?
[sarcastic slow clap] Bravo, you cowards.
To make matters worse, this is only one example. And I’m not even going into the details. You have done this before, with other shows, with other fandoms, with other ships, and you will do it again. Your legacy will be one of cowardice and erasure. Remember: you reap what you sow. This is your warning. Be ready. We are coming for you, and we are going to burn you to the ground.
Update: Mere weeks after I wrote this rant, The CW went up for sale as the network has not been profitable since 2006 (which is when it was founded). When you try to bury the gays, the gays bury you instead. Revenge is sweet, indeed.
photo edit by strawlessandbraless on tumblr.com