I didn’t cover the furor over DC’s art contest, in which aspiring artists were encouraged to submit their take on a series of panels that depicted Harley Quinn in a bathtub, electrical objects suspended precariously above her naked body, in an apparent imminent suicide attempt. As you may have guessed, the internet flipped the ever-loving frickafrack out. DC seemed reluctant to make any apologies for the page in question, deflecting with statements that the intent of the issue did not line up with the offense being thrown their way.
Jimmy Palmiotti, who I consider to be a class act all the way, said that he felt disheartened at the reaction and explained the intent of the issue to be more in line with Looney Tunes slapstick and was not intended to be a mockery of the dreadful seriousness of suicide. With Suicide Awareness week looming, he made sure to let everyone know that nobody intended to offend anyone.
But following pressure from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, American Psychiatric Association and National Alliance on Mental Illness, DC issued an official apology for the carelessness of the contest;
“The purpose of the talent search was to allow new artists an opportunity to draw a single page of a 20-page story. True to the nature of the character, the entire story is cartoony and over-the-top in tone, as Harley Quinn breaks the 4th Wall and satirizes the very scenes she appears in. DC Entertainment sincerely apologizes to anyone who may have found the page synopsis offensive and for not clearly providing the entire context of the scene within the full scope of the story.”
I feel like the correct response would probably be to completely discard the page in question. I know DC would never consider doing such a thing. Let’s just applaud them for recognizing that they made a mistake in the first place. That seems to be a huge step forward for a company that seems so hell bent on alienating anyone who doesn’t fall in line with their way of thinking.