This week, the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City, N.J., became the sixth casino in the Garden State to offer sports betting, just in time for the start of the NFL season. New Jersey casinos and racetracks took in $40.6 million in sports bets in the first full month in which it was permitted, according to figures released Tuesday. Since the U.S. Supreme Court decided in May to allow sports betting, it has become legal in Delaware, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia, and numerous other states are working toward legalizing it. The American Gaming Association estimates that $150 billion is spent per year on illegal sports betting in the United States. —L.L.
At first glance, the controversy over the CW’s forthcoming series Batwoman seemed like the LGBT movement trying to destroy one of its own for being “not gay enough.” The network cast actress Ruby Rose as the lead character, whom DC Comics has portrayed as a lesbian since rebooting her storyline in 2006. Rose is also a lesbian but identifies as “gender fluid,” too.
Outlets such as Glamour and The Hollywood Reporter, along with various blogs, described the fallout this way: Critics said Rose doesn’t count as a lesbian because sometimes she identifies as a male (huh?). Those critics bullied Rose and the CW using the hashtag #RecastBatwoman, and Rose got so upset she quit Twitter (but not the show). That storyline led to a backlash against the backlash, in which #RecastBatwoman tweeters were called, to put it nicely, ridiculous.
But in sifting through about fives days’ worth of #RecastBatwoman tweets, most of the complaints I saw made these arguments:
- Rose is not a very good actress, and the CW should have picked someone better to portray a character that has a large LGBT fanbase.
- The role ought to be played by a Jew since the character is Jewish, which Rose is not.
- Rose has had a run of high-profile roles as lesbian characters, and the CW should have given a lesser-known actress a chance.
Before Rose deleted her Twitter account, she posted a message saying she wished women and LGBT advocates were more supportive of each other. (Hey, we could all do with a little more kindness.) Since Rose’s Twitter history is gone, we can’t see any messages that were tweeted directly to her, which could have been much more aggressive. All things considered, it looks like the Batwoman firestorm is not an example of sexual revolution cannibalism (which still happens). Instead, it is an unfortunate side effect of interactive marketing and hyperfandom.
When Tim Burton cast Michael Keaton as Batman in the late 1980s, plenty of fans raised their eyebrows. But they didn’t have social media or home internet by which to launch a coordinated campaign of personal attacks. Mass merchandising for superhero and action movies was mostly directed at children—now it’s found in just about every department of big box retailers, from apparel to kitchenware. Fans think they should have a say in every aspect of production, from casting to which scenes make the trailer to which cities a movie premieres in. It makes you long for the days when if a movie or TV show sounded good, you watched it, and if it didn’t, then you found something better to do. —L.L