Did LogoTV’s recent contest stack the deck against some obvious top contenders?
The voting is complete and the winner has been declared in LogoTV’s Gayest Cartoon Tournament 2014. According to voters, Roger the alien from American Dad is the Gayest Cartoon Character, seemingly an odd choice given he’s pan-sexual and not strictly “gay.” Nor human.
As is often the case with posts of this nature, they bring out the “Why can’t we just enjoy some harmless fun” folks, the “This nonsense does nothing but further stigmatize gays, propagating stereotypes and prejudice” folks as well as the “You’re all going to die and burn in hell” folks. My point is not to stoke the fires of social demonizing one way or another. If I’m destined to spend eternity in hell it’s for transgressions much more sinister than laughing at 32 entries in a gayest cartoon character tournament.
However, looking over the tournament setup, specifically the format and seedings, I’m left wondering how biased the process was to begin with and how “fair” such a tournament can ever be compared to a straight “popularity” contest [Phrasing!].
Basically, the tournament was setup in the style of the NCAA March Madness college basketball tournament system, starting with 8 groups of four characters pitted against each other with a series of cascading winner-take-all voting leading up to a final pair and ultimate winner.
This is not a popularity contest per se. You weren’t voting for your ultimate choice as gayest character. You were voting for the gayest within either a group of 4 or group of 2 choices. How the original groups of 4 characters were seeded (selected into their groups) directly impacted which character could advance. In other words, a group of 4 could have 1 obviously gay character alongside 3 marginal choices, stacking the odds in favor of that 1 choice advancing to the next round of voting.
Take a look at the original 32 choices. Here are a few thoughts:
- Several character “pairs” should have been separated. Pairing Mr. Garrison and Mr. Slave as one “character” position seems like a move done solely to keep to only 32 spots. Same with Race Bannon and Dr. Quest, Ren & Stimpy, The Ambiguously Gay Duo, Marci and Peppermint Pattie and Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune.
- The initial voting group of Mr. Garrison/Mr. Slave, Race Bannon/Dr. Quest, Daria and Ray Gillett seems awfully biased, designed to knock out some tough competitors early. On the other hand, the grouping of Bugs Bunny, Gaston, Vanity Smurf and Pizzazz seems awfully light when it comes to gayness.
- While of course you can’t please everyone, what about missing characters like Mitch from ParaNorman, Saddam Hussein and Satan from South Park, Disney’s Chip and Dale as well as Patrick and SpongeBob?
- It’s a moot point to discuss by what criteria we’re supposed to judge gayness, but certainly many of the names in the tournament merely evoke thoughts of gayness, which makes this primarily a popularity contest. I happen to think Snagglepuss from the old Hanna Barbara cartoons of the 1960s is a great choice. But I don’t remember him ever lubing up and having his way with cast mates of either gender before “Exiting, Stage Left!” Should the mere idea or “wink wink” desire to consider a character gay exclude them from the tournament?
In my humble and completely biased opinion, there is no gayer nor brilliantly conceived cartoon character than Mr. Slave from South Park. Not even close. The “Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset” episode which culminated in Mr. Slave out-whoring Paris Hilton by completely swallowing her up into his ass was one of the most unbelievable moments of TV viewing I’ve ever experienced. I remember the original airing and I was simply stunned.
A black leather clad male sex slave, Mr. Slave, is the one character in South Park honest enough to make a simple but truthful point, that young girls should not be emulating someone as disgusting and worthless as Paris Hilton. That he reinforces the point kids should be helped to find better role models than Paris Hilton by jumping on top of her and stuffing her whole body into his backside (of course, following that with his famous “Jeeeesus Chriiiiiiiist!), takes both gayness and common sense to a level I’m not sure can be beat.
And Velma? She's just hot.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.