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SciFriday: What Will eBay Ban Next? Superman?

The move against ‘Chillerama’ and ‘Teenage Werebear’ is silly, Michael Hinman says

If you take a look online, there are some great promotional pictures of “Smallville” star Tom Welling donning the famous Superman suit. Sorry “Smallville” fans, I’m more of a Batman guy, so I’m not sure if Welling actually wore the costume in the series or not, but he did look great in those photos.

The Superman suit, as we all know, is some skintight blue outfit, complete with red underwear that, for some reason, is located outside of the suit. I guess Clark Kent’s tailor was Madonna?

When I was a kid, it was the late Christopher Reeve who wore the suit. Yet, I don’t remember my parents turning off the television, or marching us out of the theater, because of the corruptive nature of seeing someone in red underwear.

So I am at a loss when it comes to eBay and its decision, for whatever reasons, to ban sale of the soundtrack to the “I Was a Teenage Werebear” segment of the popular indie film “Chillerama.” That segment, written and directed by Tim Sullivan in a campy musical, features actor Sean Paul Lockhart in a few different outfits, mainly described as a jock strap … and as red underwear.

One of those screen captures, the one in the red underwear, was offered autographed as a promotional item to those buying the soundtrack on eBay. But eBay decided to remove that listing, because of what Sullivan said was described as a photo with “engorged genitalia.”

Yes, Lockhart has a former life as a gay porn actor, using the name Brent Corrigan. But those days are behind him, and it’s time that those of us in the mainstream stop identifying him as that. It’s OK for Superman to wear red underwear, but not OK for anyone else? Especially if they are associated with something gay, whether it be their former career in certain industries, or because they are starring in a mainstream horror comedy that has gay themes designed to make you laugh and think?

Last year, I had a chance to interview Lockhart at length (and I still have more of that interview to share). In that talk, which was about his role in another mainstream indie film “Judas Kiss,” we talked about what I described as a double-standard in Hollywood. If you ever did porn, mainstream directors and studios won’t touch you. Yet, if you are an established mainstream actor, and you somehow get a sex tape “leaked” that is definitely pornographic, no worries, it’s good for your career, not bad.

So basically, Lockhart — who is really building a strong talent in terms of acting — should have become famous mainstream first, and then went into porn? Because really, that seems like the way it works here.

Believe it or not, I’m a prudish person. But I think the best description of me is as a European prude, not an American prude. What I mean by that is that my feelings on what is disturbing is the exact opposite of mainstream America: I have no issues with nudity or even sex in productions. I am much more against films that celebrate drugs or excessive violence.

I guess you could say that “Chillerama” would not be my cup of tea, because there is a lot of blood and gore in it. And you might be right. But all these people who really believe that Janet Jackson’s nipple or Daniel Radcliffe’s treasure trail is going to destroy America really need to get a reality check.

And if eBay really is tying themselves to a picture of Lockhart in his underwear where you can’t really see anything, then they need a reality check too. Based on the fact they had no problem selling the same exact picture in the past, or the movie itself in the present, but now have an issue once they start reading a description about “closeted teens” really makes you scratch your head and wonder.

I’ve asked eBay to talk about this, but they have yet to get around to it. In the meantime, they are causing a business to flounder for no other reason than because of their promotion of diversity acceptance. The world is a diverse place, eBay. You should join us in it.

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Could they be a Rut-ro! Shaggy
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