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Xena Writer Speaks Up For Tolerance

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Old 08-02-2004, 17:22   #1
xena225 xena225 is offline
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Xena Writer Speaks Up For Tolerance

The acclaimed writer Katherine Fugate - who wrote one of the best loved Xena episodes (When Fates Collide) and who will most probably also write the script for the planned Xena movie - posted a statement on her website which I thought might be interesting for this forum as well. So I'll post it here.

7 february 2004

A day after I asked that no more emails or Ask Katherine's be sent to me with script ideas on how I should write a potential Xena movie, I received this:

Comments: Please no subtext on the Xena movie. A lot of family type audience might not go to see it because of that. No offense. I think that's why the series went down on the ratings. It just turns off most people.

Dear Visitor. You will have to forgive me for using you as an example. But your response to me AFTER I specifically asked for NO MORE comments telling ME how to write a Xena Movie was the final straw. I do not intend to use my website as a soap box for my beliefs, but it is, after all, my website and you came here. I did not come to you.

That said, telling me that subtext or a love between two women "turns off most people" and is the obvious reason for a decline in ratings - saddens me deeply. You also claim that if indeed Xena and Gabrielle were two souls in love -- that it would turn off Family Type Audiences from seeing a movie.

First of all, I do not think any Xena movie would be a G rated movie for entire families simply due to the violent subject matter of a warrior in battle. I doubt little kids flocked to see The Last Samurai. I doubt little kids flocked to see the X-Files movie. Thus, any big screen adaptation I write of the Xena television series would not be a movie for kids. Xena is not Cheaper By The Dozen. I would hope any parent would check the ratings of a film before taking their child.

But honestly, what I suspect you are really saying, using your army of "most people," is that subtext would TURN YOU OFF and that is why I am responding to you directly on the front page of my website.

If you are turned off by the subtext in Xena, does that mean it should go away? And if you are turned off by it, I have to wonder why? What are you so afraid of, if indeed Xena and Gabrielle found love in this lifetime?

Is it against your religious beliefs? Most likely. Does it make you uncomfortable? Most likely. Are YOU offended by it? Most likely.

But does that mean everyone else thinks like you? I hope not.

Because the world would be an entirely different place if we embraced LOVE in all its variations and just let people be who they are. I wonder why that is so very hard for people to do?

There was a time not so long ago when it was against the law for a black man to marry a white woman. That has changed. Thank god for my dear friends Keith and Lesley and their baby girl Ava. What a beautiful and loving family they are. There was a time not so long ago when women couldn't own property, couldn't vote. That has changed. Thank god because I don't have a man to buy me a house right now and I'd be on the street (or worse, still living with my parents).

I just have to hope that the next revolution will be to allow people the grace to follow their heart and fall in love with who they fall in love with.

Imagine me telling YOU, a stranger -- I don't like who you are in love with -- and then passing laws to make sure you two can't be together? All because I don't like it that he's black or he's a she? Or the wrong religion, because that happens too. Because what you are saying is -- if you don't love the way I want you too, you aren't allowed to love in this lifetime. Imagine that. Telling someone - sorry, you don't get to love this time around.

God, I hope it all does change. And in my lifetime. And if I can do anything to help along change, I will do it. And I will do it for those family types you are trying so hard to protect. Because it all does begin with families and what they teach their children.

It begins when parents take home a child from the hospital and have the courage to say -- I am prepared for and open to my son or daughter loving someone of another race. I am open to my son or daughter being gay. I am open to my child being who he or she already is. Why? Because I am open to my child finding love in his or her lifetime.

Let's just hope I have the ability to OPEN some minds to love in all its incarnations in this lifetime. That is why I write. That is the theme in The Prince & Me. That is the theme in Carolina. That will be the theme in a Xena movie, as long as I am the one writing it. Live to LOVE.

That said, this is a movie about fictional characters. Who live in a time when love wasn't as questioned and dissected and feared as it is now. That was one of the many reasons Xena was so great. It was a TV show that was open to all kinds of love. And it was never commented on. Did you notice that? No one said - hey Xena, Marcus is black! Hey, Xena, Gabrielle is a woman! Xena had mixed race couples, same sex couples, immortals in love with mortals. Xena had love in a time that love was embraced as love. Period.

So no, dear Visitor to my site, I will NOT write this movie the way you want me to. Did I take offense? No.

But I was deeply saddened by you - and your words. And by all those in the world who think like you.

It's like Grandma Mirabeau says in Carolina, "We're here. Then we die."

It's like Prince Edvard says in the Prince & Me. "You cannot tell me who I can love."

You are telling me who Xena and Gabrielle can love. Why is that? I have a guess.

You fear love. What a wasted fear that is.

Thank you for writing.

There you go.

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Old 08-02-2004, 17:41   #2
teeny teeny is offline
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wow.. don't tell a writer what to write

Think the ratings went down in Denmark because it aired at sunday afternoons and later a competing channel had a row of similar series in the same period of time.

My brother used to watch Xena and Hercules while I was looking at Angel and Buffy at the other channel. Sometimes when reruns where show one of us switched to the other channel.

Xena aired for a long period of time. I think it lost viewers like most other series does when reaching a certain age.
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Old 08-02-2004, 17:51   #3
Rob Rob is offline
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xena, Thanks for posting.

My respect to the Lady for such a clear statement for tolerance and nevertheless being polite!

I've never watched Xena but Buffy had subtext that became facts and the show ended as planned after 7 years, so subtext was probably not the reason for finishing Xena.
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Old 08-02-2004, 17:53   #4
Lena410 Lena410 is offline
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wow..I liked to watch Xena. If I would have known that one of the writers is that likeable I would have watched more
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Old 08-02-2004, 19:23   #5
haku haku is offline
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I've never watched Xena.

Actually i don't like subtext either, i think it's better to hit biggots right in the face with what scares them. They are as shocked in either case, so why bother going soft on them.

Those biggots are not very smart because if they don't like what their children see in that show they could easily say something like "See, that's how people were living before christianity. They were commiting a lot of mortal sins, doing things that go against nature and God! That's why God had to send his son Jesus to save us all from eternal damnation."
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