CNN’s in-house media pundit Brian Stelter defended DC Comic’s polarizing decision to drop “the American way” from Superman’s slogan, saying “that kind of ethnonationalism” might not be right for the iconic comic-book character going forward.
Superman has stood for “truth, justice and the American way” for over 80 years but DC Comics recently announced the new motto would be “truth, justice … and a better tomorrow.”
The change reflects a broader, more global vision for the world of Superman, DC’s chief creative officer and publisher Jim Lee said Saturday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Stelter said the “American way” part of the phrase came during World War II when patriotism was prevalent.
“That was a logical move when, you know, there was this world war. I think now the message is, this is a global franchise, this is a franchise looking to the future, and that kind of ethnonationalism, you know, perhaps is not the right style going forward,” Stelter said Tuesday on “New Day.”
“I do think it’s partly about appealing to a global box office,” Stelter added. But, hey, who can argue against a better tomorrow? What’s so bad about a better tomorrow?”
The motto change was the second half of a recent 1-2 punch for fans of the traditional Superman. Last week came news that an upcoming Superman comic book will feature Jon Kent – son of Superman’s alter-ego, newspaper reporter Clark Kent – as a bisexual Superman.
The CNN media pundit said the slogan is “vague and simple” so it shouldn’t offend anyone, but not everyone feels the same way.
Fox News contributor Raymond Arroyo said on Sunday that changing Superman’s motto is a “disservice to fans” because the company would rather “politically grandstand than respect the audience that built” the character.
“This is clearly a distortion and a disservice to anyone who loved Superman that read the comic books and watched those movies,” Arroyo told “The Big Sunday Show.”
“Here’s why, remember, this was about an alien from another planet, a dying planet that comes and lands in the heartland of America and embodies the American ideals of freedom, justice. He wears red, white and blue for goodness sake,” Arroyo added. Arroyo argued that the “multinational corporation” now behind the character is more interested in political grandstanding and building a foreign audience.
“Now you have a multinational corporation, D.C. Comics, that decided it would rather politically grandstand and build foreign markets than respect their character and the audience that built him. You don’t need Kryptonite to kill Superman when you have D.C. Comics doing a great job. This is a huge disservice to fans and I’m waiting for Superman to turn up in a red costume and we will just call him Super Person.”
Fellow panelist Leo Terrell agreed, asking what country would be more inspirational than the United States.
“That’s what Superman is all about. Freedom, liberty and justice for all. That’s the American way,” he added.
Fox News’ Dom Calicchio and Joshua Q. Nelson contributed to this report.