Responding to accusations of homophobia, and increasing media attention, Universal Studios Hollywood has canceled its Bill and Ted Halloween Horror Nights show, which featured a Man of Steel transformed into a mincing gay stereotype.
Part of the theme park’s annual Halloween event, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure was a play in which the title characters are transported to the Land of Oz filled with references to sex and popular culture. According to Vice.com, Bill and Ted are joined in their quest to kill four evil witches by Superman, who’s turned gay after being accidentally sprinkled with fairy dust.
“After becoming gay, Superman’s voice and posture changes,” writes Vice’s Jamie Lee Curtis Taete. “His lips purse, his toes point inward, and his wrists become limp. His new voice sounds like a homophobic uncle doing a drunken impression of Richard Simmons, complete with lisps and frequent use of the word ‘faaaaaaabulous!’”
Today’s official announcement comes less than two months after NBCUniversal and Esquire magazine owner Hearst Corporation closed a deal to move the focus of the network away from young male gamers to “today’s modern men.” G4 pulled the plug in December on its flagship series Attack of the Show! and X-Play, leaving the channel without any original studio programming.
Debuting with the launch of G4 in 2005, Attack of the Show! featured Blair Butler’s “Fresh Ink” segments, which featured comic reviews and occasional publishing announcements from Marvel. The series also broadcast live each year from Comic-Con International.
According to this morning’s announcement, “Esquire Network will expand on G4’s foundation of games, gear and gadgets to reflect the broad range of interests, passions and aspirations that define men today.” While the new channel will tackle gaming and technology, like its namesake magazine, program categories also will include entertainment, travel, food, fashion, women and more with a mixture of scripted and unscripted series, and movies and specials.
Among the shows on the lineup are original series Knife Fight, hosted by Top Chef winner Ilan Hall and executive produced by Drew Barrymore, and The Getaway, executive produced by Anthony Bordain, the return of American Ninja Warrior, and syndicated runs of NBC’s Parks and Recreation and Starz’s Party Down.