Lefty Critics Rail at 'Sherlock' Creators for not turning Holmes and Watson into a Gay Couple
By Ian Miles Cheong|3:23 pm, August 12, 2016
The creators of Sherlock, the popular TV series starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, have come under fire from social justice warriors. The show’s main creators, Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, have refused to ship its two main characters, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, into a gay romance.
The entire phenomenon rose on Tumblr and Twitter, where a large number ofSherlock fans came up with a hackneyed theory that the intent of its creators was to transform Holmes and Watson, who have consistently been portrayed as heterosexual since their creation by Arthur Conan Doyle in the 19th century, into homosexual partners.
Speaking at the recent San Diego Comic-Con, the showrunners Moffat and Gatissrepudiated the theory. While answering questions about how to address minority representation in shows like Doctor Who, which Moffat also showruns, Moffat said that it is important in his shows to not come across as “campaigning” for homosexuality and simply present it as a normal fact of life.
“You don’t want it to be campaigning. You don’t want to be table thumping about it. You don’t want to essentially tell children that there’s something to campaign about,” he said. “You want to say this is absolutely fine and normal. There is no question to answer. You want to walk right past it, in a way. You don’t want to… If you say, as sometimes other kinds of literature or movies might, we forgive you for being gay. You’re just saying you’re gay and it doesn’t matter. There’s no issue.”
Moffat immediately segued into Sherlock, where he expressed his exasperation with a vocal segment of the fanbase for often twisting his words and insisting Sherlock is gay.
“It is infuriating, frankly, to be talking about a serious subject and to have Twitter run around and say, ‘oh, that means Sherlock is gay.’ Very explicitly it does not. We are taking a serious subject and trivializing it beyond endurance.”
It’s at this point that Gatiss, who is gay, explained that while there’s always a possibility that Sherlock Holmes might be gay, it isn’t what the show is going to run with.
“I’m a gay man. This is not an issue. But we’ve explicitly said this is not going to happen—there is no game plan—no matter how much we lie about other things, that this show is going to culminate in Martin and Benedict going off into the sunset together,” said Gatiss.
“They are not going to do it. And if people want to write whatever they like and have a great time extrapolating that’s absolutely fine. But there is no hidden or exposed agenda. We’re not trying to fuck with people’s heads. Not trying to insult anybody or make any kind of issue out of it, there’s nothing there. It’s just our show and that’s what these characters are like. If people want to do that on websites absolutely fine. But there’s nothing there.”
Gatiss went even further and asked fans not to tell them what to do with the show. “It’s our show, they’re our characters, they do what we want them to do, and we don’t have to represent absolutely everything in that 90 minutes. It’s impossible,” he said. “And it would kill it. It would be deadly to it.”
Moffat echoed the statements of the show’s co-creator and added that all the demands to make Holmes and Watson gay were detrimental to gay representation. “What they did was scale back that conversation and make it about something extremely silly,” said Moffat. “And that’s not helping anyone.”
After the interview went live, fans reacted in disbelief and claimed it to be a hoax, prompting Gatiss to take to social media and verify that the interview was real. His words were poorly received by self-proclaimed social justice warriors, who called his decision “unkind.” They argue that homosexuals will not have proper representation in media until Sherlock Holmes and John Watson have sex on TV.
This isn’t the first time creators involved in Sherlock repudiated such theories. Last year, actor Martin Freeman, who plays John Watson, said in an interview that the detectives were “not actually fucking. It’s possible for people of the same sex to have a deep friendship without being attracted to each other.”
His statement got him in trouble on Tumblr, where an older post that had labeled him a “potential rapist,” a “racist” and a “homophobe” picked up steam. The post was on the popular “your fave is problematic” blog.
At the end of the day, it’s up to Sherlock’s creators what they wish to do with the story, and it’s good that they’re sticking to their guns instead of giving in to outrage.