What do you do when your TV show goes viral for a bizarre and silly reason, then stays the talk of social media for basically two straight days? If you're Harley Quinn executive producer Justin Halpern, you just kind of shrug and suggest everyone should be watching the show. It's probably the best reply he could have come up with for the whole discourse, unless he was to just come out and tweet, "Ladies and gentlemen...The Aristocrats!" But that would probably go over some heads anyway, so this works pretty well for the situation he finds himself in.
If you missed it, Halpern recently did an interview in which he suggested that doing a show about supervillains came with fewer creative restrictions than doing a show about heroes. As a for-instance, he offered an anecdote from Harley Quinn's production, where somebody at DC reportedly objected to a proposed sequence in an episode that would have depicted Batman performing oral sex on Catwoman.
So uhhhh watch Harley Quinn on HBO Max?— Justin Halpern (@justin_halpern) June 15, 2021
"A perfect example of that is in this third season of Harley [when] we had a moment where Batman was going down on Catwoman," Halpern told Variety. "And DC was like, ‘You can’t do that. You absolutely cannot do that.’ They’re like, ‘Heroes don’t do that.’ So, we said, ‘Are you saying heroes are just selfish lovers?’ They were like, ‘No, it’s that we sell consumer toys for heroes. It’s hard to sell a toy if Batman is also going down on someone.’"
Unsurprisingly, social media had a field day with this claim, with Batman and Harley Quinn trending in the days since. Even Batman actor Val Kilmer got in on the conversation, sharing a GIF from his film Batman Forever that referenced the flirtations Bruce Wayne/Batman had with Nicole Kidman's Chase Meridian.
This is not the first time Batman's sex life has become the subject of public debate. A sexual relationship between Batman and Batgirl in an R-rated movie adaptation of Batman: The Killing Joke from 2016 ignited a passionate debate among fans and, most recently, Batman: Damned (from The Killing Joke screenwriter Brian Azzarello) depicted a backlit shot of a nude Batman in which his anatomy was clearly visible, resulting in DC censoring future versions of the book, including digital copies.